IRS employee furloughs set to take effect next month

Posted Apr 21, 2013 by Leigh Goessl
Starting next month, the Internal Revenue Service will be shutting its offices for one day per month until September. This is in response to the sequestration measures set by the Obama Administration and Congress.
Internal Revenue Service building in Washington
Internal Revenue Service building in Washington
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on Friday its plans to shut down for one day per month starting on May 24. Subsequent days set are June 14, July 5, July 22 and August 30, with potential other days added in August or September.
The days off are primarily centered around holiday weekends, creating four-day weekends.
According to Reuters, IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller indicated he and 90,000 other staff members have to take five days off without pay between now and September 30 in order to cut spending.
“We came to a decision that balances our primary mission to serve the taxpayers and considers the effect on employees,” IRS acting commissioner Steven Miller wrote in an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News (courtesy Christian Science Monitor). “We settled on having uniform furlough dates for everyone and closing down agency operations entirely. This way, the IRS can gain additional cost savings on utilities and other services in our work locations.”
The closing will mean that taxpayer assistance call centers will also be shut down on those days.
“On these days, phones calls to the IRS will go unanswered and Taxpayer Assistance Centers across the country will have ‘closed’ signs in their windows,” said National Treasury Employees Union president Colleen M. Kelley. “I believe this is an unprecedented event that leaves taxpayers out in the cold.”
The NTEU represents IRS workers.
Furlough notices will reportedly be issued to employees tomorrow, reported the Washington Post.
Fox News reported the furlough days were postponed until tax season was over to avoid disruptions in taxpayer refunds.
Other federal agencies are announcing their sequester plans. Late last week the Federal Aviation Administration shared their plans, which come into effect today.