You may not realize it, but you play a vital role in our tax system simply by filing your tax return. More than 98 percent of the tax revenue collected by the IRS comes in voluntarily from taxpayers. In fact, through this annual process, approximately 96% of the gross receipts of our country flows through the IRS. Get to know the IRS, its people and the issues that affect taxpayers By Chuck Rettig CL-21-17, May 17, 2021 As we mark this year’s tax filing deadline, I’d like to thank everyone who filed and paid their taxes. Understanding that some people needed more time to file and pay what they owed this year, we extended the filing season to May 17. Those who need even more time can still file for an automatic extension until October 15, 2021, but keep in mind this is an extension of time to file, not pay your taxes. You may not realize it, but you play a vital role in our tax system simply by filing your tax return. When you perform your civic duty each year by preparing and filing your taxes, and paying what you should, you help fund critical aspects of the United States, ranging from schools and roads to Social Security payments and the nation’s military. In fact, through this annual process, approximately 96% of the gross receipts of our country flows through the IRS. We are very proud of our role in keeping America running and moving forward. More than 98 percent of the tax revenue collected by the IRS comes in voluntarily from taxpayers. When you do your part by filing your tax return, you should feel confident that others are doing the right thing too. I’m committed to making sure that the system remains fair for all taxpayers, and that everyone plays by the rules. Fair but rigorous enforcement of the tax laws is critical to ensuring fairness in our tax system. I have made it a priority for the IRS to do more to help underserved taxpayers by communicating with them and providing assistance in their most comfortable language. There are now numerous ways to access information in multiple languages on IRS.gov. Our new “Languages” page has basic tax information translated into 20 languages. Certain high-volume web pages have also been translated into Spanish, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Korean, Russian, Vietnamese and Haitian-Creole. And this year, we provided the Form 1040 in Spanish for the first time. The 2020 Form 1040 also gave taxpayers the opportunity on Schedule LEP to indicate whether they prefer to receive written communications from the IRS in one of 20 languages other than English. If you reach out by phone, we offer translation services in more than 350 languages. For more than a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges to the IRS, both in terms of being able to carry out our mission and in protecting the health and safety of taxpayers and our own workforce. Thank you for your patience throughout 2020 and during this year’s filing season and for making use of the 24/7 access to tools and information on IRS.gov. I hope you’ll continue using our online resources to make your tax filing experience easier for years to come. When you perform your civic duty each year by preparing and filing your taxes, and paying what you should, you help fund critical aspects of the United States, ranging from schools and roads to Social Security payments and the nation’s military. I’m very proud of every IRS employee. While facing pandemic challenges themselves, IRS employees responded admirably by quickly facilitating the issuance of Economic Impact Payments totaling more than $388 billion to more than 165 million Americans in 2021, as they did last year, while effectively carrying out this year’s filing season. While the May 17 filing deadline is an important milestone, the work of the filing season will continue well beyond today. IRS employees will continue to process tax returns, issue refunds, deliver economic impact payments, and issue advance Child Tax Credit payments beginning this summer. We are proud to serve you and our country! Our workforce is dedicated to helping people understand and meet their filing obligations. And our employees who audit returns, collect taxes, and investigate fraud all work hard throughout the year to fairly enforce the laws while respecting your rights as a taxpayer. Beyond the workplace, our employees make a difference by their commitment to giving back to their communities, with many volunteering to help low-income and older Americans prepare their taxes, and also providing support to colleagues, neighbors, frontline workers and food banks during the pandemic. The IRS stands ready to provide the assistance people need, both during the filing season and throughout the year. We’re working hard to be more efficient in how we help you, and we’ll be continuing to offer more services on IRS.gov to make it more convenient for you at tax time. Our success at the IRS is earned and depends on respecting taxpayer rights and treating everyone we encounter with fairness. My pledge to you is that we at the IRS will continue to keep your taxpayer rights paramount in all of our interactions. Inside our agency, we understand, accept and value our differences, and strive to maintain an inclusive and diverse workplace where employees treat each other with kindness and civility. We live in your communities and will continue to carry these strong values with us in all of our dealings with you. We believe every person is important, none more or less than any other. By valuing and respecting each other, we are better able to move forward together. I want you to know that the IRS appreciates the time and personal effort each and every taxpayer takes to file their taxes. Thank you again for your support of our great nation. Chuck Rettig IRS Commissioner About the Author Chuck Rettig is the 49th Commissioner of the IRS. As Commissioner, Rettig presides over the nation’s tax system, which collects more than $3.5 trillion in tax revenue each year. This revenue funds most government operations and public services. He manages an agency of about 80,000 employees and a budget of approximately $11 billion. In leading the IRS, Rettig is focused on improving service to the nation’s taxpayers, balancing appropriate enforcement of the nation’s tax laws while respecting taxpayer rights. Related Content Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return Languages Coronavirus Tax Relief Advance Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021 Taxpayer Bill of Rights Multilingual Resources on IRS.gov YouTube Video A Closer Look Read all our posts about a variety of timely issues of interest to taxpayers and the tax community Subscribe The IRS offers several e-News subscriptions on a variety of tax topics. Subscribe to get email alerts when new content is posted.