By Frank Vascellaro

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Time is almost up if you haven’t filed your taxes yet. You have until midnight Tuesday to get them done.

But for many who have already filed, you could be waiting quite a while to get your refund because the Internal Revenue Service is facing a massive backlog of returns.

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It’s an issue CBS correspondent Scott MacFarlane has covered extensively. WCCO’s Frank Vascellaro talked to him Monday afternoon about what we can expect this year.

“At one point this month they were telling us only one in five callers was getting through to a live agent when they called the IRS for help,” MacFarlane said. “The same people who answer the phones are also processing the returns, and it’s just a broken workflow.”

(credit: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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So when might taxpayers in Minnesota and Wisconsin get their returns back?

“In a broader sense, the people who may encounter delays or sluggishness are those who still file with a pen and paper,” he said. “It takes manpower, and that's what is in short supply at the IRS.”

MacFarlane says the biggest issue is funding. The IRS budget has been cut dramatically, and that's what's causing the staffing shortages. President Joe Biden is proposing more funding to help them now and in the future.

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The biggest takeaway for all of us: File electronically and ask for a direct deposit. Those are the fastest ways to get any refund you are owed.

Frank Vascellaro