Paul L. Caron

Friday, April 19, 2013

IRS to Close to Public for Five Days Due To Employee Furloughs

IRS Logo 2The IRS announced today that it will close to the public for five days (May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22, and August 30) because of employee furloughs:

All public-facing operations will be closed on these dates, including our toll-free operations and Taxpayer Assistance Centers. Some mission-essential IT and security personnel, who maintain systems and building safety, may need to work on these furlough days, however they will be taking furlough days on alternative dates within those pay periods. Everyone is covered by this furlough, and that means everyone from the Acting Commissioner and executives to managers and employees.

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Woody, you need to read the article. "Everyone is covered by this furlough, and that means everyone from the Acting Commissioner and executives to managers and employees." In other words, on the five furlough days, the IRS--the whole IRS--will be closed. I work for a state government; the state, in cooperation with its employee unions, instituted five "service reduction days," plus five employee-selected furlough days in each year from 2008-11 in order to save money and reduce the need for layoffs. The five "service reduction" days were joined to three-day holidays just like the IRS plans. Except for prisons, state hospitals, and the State Police, the state government closed on those days. They closed the buildings and other facilities and achieved significant energy-related and other savings. This is not a gimmic, it works. It saved money for the state, helped out during the budget crises of those years, and minimized dislocations for state employees and citizens. (In fact, it was a good illustration of how cooperation between management and labor can work for everyone--as compared to the confrontational tactics of certain governors in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio.) State employees had to eat a 9.5% pay cut for three and-a-half years. Citizens had to put up with reduced or curtailed services during the same periods. Everybody sacrificed, but not too much. Progressives call that "balance." Americans will just have to tough it out on the five days the IRS is closed--a little shared sacrifice. I hopy you are not suggesting that Americans--including you, Woody--can't get by for five days without their IRS! Or that you and other conservatives Americans are not willing to help "pay" for the sequester cuts!

Posted by: Anti-Woody | Apr 23, 2013 6:42:39 AM

The IRS is not furloughing everyone. Are they going to cut off the building air conditioners for those who remain at work? What they are saying sounds like phony PR talk rather than anything of substance. And, if you were a taxpayer dealing with a serious IRS problem like a bank levy, that day they are closed may be very important.

Posted by: Woody | Apr 22, 2013 6:24:00 PM

Take a break Woody. If you look at the furlough days, you will see that they create a four-day Memorial Day holiday, a four-day July 4th holiday, and a four-day Labor Day holiday. Those three extended holiday periods will allow the Service to shut down air-conditioning and building services for longer periods, thus increasing savings. Hurt the public? Yeah, all the CPAs and tax lawyers at work on the the Fridays before Memorial Day and Labor Day, and the Friday after the Fourth will be severely injured. Excuse me while I wipe my tears away, and those folks plan their (earlier) holiday escapes to the Hamptons, etc. Grow up.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Apr 22, 2013 9:17:19 AM

Of course, the IRS shuts down taxpayer service on selected dates to hurt the public rather than spread out furlough days and stay open. That's what Obama told federal agencies to do -- hurt the public, as he did by shutting down the White House tours. That'll teach those Republicans who expect the administration to slow down its rate of spending increases in exchange for the tax increase. They'll get the blame.

Posted by: Woody | Apr 21, 2013 7:02:29 PM