IRS announces major overhaul, layoffs

IRS officials announced a massive restructuring plan Wednesday, which will result in 2,400 layoffs at the tax agency.

The IRS plans to close its Memphis, Tenn., tax return processing facility in October 2005, and will significantly streamline collections procedures, Commissioner Mark Everson said. In 2005, the agency will shift collection and insolvency caseworkers currently spread among 92 different offices into four locations. These changes, made possible by a substantial growth in electronic tax filing, are "fiscally responsible" and will allow the agency to hire new investigators, Everson said.

"Consolidation of back-office case processing is the kind of thing done years ago in the private sector," Everson said. He added that services to taxpayers would not suffer from the restructuring.

But the IRS overhaul would affect 6,700 of the agency's employees, about 6 percent of its 115,000-member workforce. Of these, 2,400 employees should expect to face involuntary separations after January 2005, Everson said. Most of those employees work at the Memphis center, and nearly 2,000 are seasonal or contract workers.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS employees, vowed to fight the layoffs. "Most of the employees targeted by these actions are women and minorities who have probably worked for the IRS for most of their careers," NTEU President Colleen Kelley said.

Rates of electronic filing may have actually leveled off, Kelley explained, rendering the IRS' decision "premature." About 4 million taxpayers filed their returns electronically in 1990, according to the IRS. By 2003, that number jumped to 53 million.

But the General Accounting Office recently concluded that only 61 percent of individual taxpayers will file returns electronically by 2007, nearly 20 percentage points below the IRS' goal for online return rates. "It is premature to start talking about eliminating workers that taxpayers depend upon to process their tax payments and tax returns in a timely manner," Kelley said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.