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I can’t reach the IRS about a 2020 tax return. What can I do?

By Karin Price Mueller | for

Q. I’m the executor to my sister’s estate. She died in February 2020. Her accountant filed her 2020 taxes in May of 2021. My problem is I wait on hold with the IRS for hours at a time, only to get disconnected when I finally get to speak to someone. I would like to clear her estate up as soon as possible. What can I do?

— Frustrated

A. We’re sorry to hear about your sister.

You’re not alone when it comes to facing IRS delays.

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, the IRS has been painfully slow in processing tax returns and issuing refund checks, said Bernie Kiely, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Kiely Capital Management in Morristown.

At one point, five million tax returns were unprocessed by the IRS.

It’s also possible, even if you e-filed the return, that the IRS did not receive it, he said.

Kiely recommends you mail a copy of the tax return with your signature as executor and today’s date to the IRS. Include a letter explaining that this return is a copy and it is possible the IRS has not received the original, he said.

“Be sure to mail the return certified mail return receipt requested,” he said. “This way you will have a tracking number and when you receive the green stamped post office card, you will know the IRS received your letter.”

Other than that, unfortunately, you’re just going to have to wait it out.

Email your questions to

Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for’s weekly e-newsletter.


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