January 10, 2022
Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 485 words, a 2-minute read.
1 big thing: Refund mayhem
The IRS is in trouble, which means getting your tax refunds on time may be too.
Why it matters: Staff shortages are creating a nightmare scenario at the Treasury Department, officials said today.
The unprocessed case backlog is "several times" as big as past years.
- Understaffed call centers are mostly failing to respond to taxpayers in need of help, The Washington Post reports.
- Processing centers for paper returns were affected by COVID-19, the agency said.
- The stimulus created new work, including the Child Tax Credit expansion that could complicate tens of millions of returns.
What it means for you: Your refund might be delayed. If you file via paper form, that might be delayed as well.
- This year's deadline is April 18 for most filers.
The big picture: The IRS workforce is "now the same size as it was in 1970," The Post notes.
- The agency's budget has been cut by about 20% over the last 10 years.
- Democrats have tried to push through big budget increases for the IRS, against Republican opposition.
Go deeper: Read today's release.
2. 🔮 Jamie Dimon sees some of the best growth in a century
JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said today that despite inflation and the Great Resignation, flush consumers and businesses will drive an exuberant '22 economy.
- "We're going to have the best growth year we’ve ever had this year — I think since maybe sometime after, before the Great Depression," Dimon told CNBC’s Bertha Coombs. "[N]ext year will be pretty good, too."
Context: The Great Depression ran from 1929 to 1933, followed by a historic expansion through the end of World War II (1945).
Dimon — speaking on the (virtual) opening day of the 40th annual J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference, which began today — said: "The consumer balance sheet has never been in better shape."
- "They've got $2 trillion in their checking accounts," he said. "They've paid down a lot of debt. ... Home prices are up; stock prices are up; jobs are plentiful; wages are going up."
Go deeper: Axios' Bob Herman on what to what during the J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference.
3. Catch up quick
- Gaming mega-merger: Take-Two Interactive, publisher of Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K, bought Zynga for $12.7 billion. Go deeper.
- Scoop: A Seattle-based fashion startup founded by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and singer Ciara, who are married, plans to raise between $20-$50 million for its series A funding, Richard Collings reports for Axios Pro.
- U.S. Olympic pairs skater Timothy LeDuc, set to become the first openly non-binary athlete to compete at a Winter Olympics, called Chinese human rights abuses toward Uyghur Muslims "horrifying."
- Former President Trump said he'll never endorse Sen. Mike Rounds after the South Dakota Republican defended the integrity of the 2020 election.
4. Charted: Dem retirement wave builds
⚡️ 26 House Democrats now say they won't run for re-election this fall, compared to 12 Republicans.