IRS Cancels Furlough Day

Acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel Acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel Charles Dharapak/AP

Internal Revenue Service employees no longer have to take a furlough day next week.

Danny Werfel, principal deputy commissioner and IRS acting chief, canceled the scheduled furlough day for July 22. “The IRS will be open for taxpayers that day as scheduled, and all employees will be paid for that day,” Werfel said in an email to employees. “This step follows a lot of hard work across the service to cut costs.”

Werfel said employees can take unscheduled leave on July 22, if they want, because of the short notice on the announcement. He also told employees he would keep them posted on the status of the agency’s next planned furlough day, scheduled for Aug. 30. The agency’s 90,000 employees so far have taken three furlough days because of sequestration. The IRS in May announced that the agency would close for five days during the summer, forcing employees to take unpaid leave.

Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said the cancellation of the July 22 furlough was “a positive development” resulting from the union’s discussions with the agency. She said the union would continue to push for the elimination of the Aug. 30 furlough day.

Werfel last week told employees he wanted to eliminate performance bonuses to employees in 2013 in exchange for cutting two scheduled furlough days. NTEU said the union and the IRS still are discussing that issue. “NTEU earlier had rejected the suggestion from senior IRS leaders that canceling furlough days was contingent upon not paying performance awards,” the union said in a statement. “NTEU believes both objectives can be reached.”

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