Five furlough dates set, more may be added later.
The Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday confirmed five furlough days and said employees could face another two.
IRS offices will be closed on May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22, and Aug. 30, according to an announcement on the agency’s website. IRS said it may announce “one or two additional furlough days” at a later date. It noted that some disruption on agency websites and tools may occur because of the closure.
Still, IRS encouraged taxpayers to “continue to file their returns and pay any taxes as usual,” the announcement said. “Because none of the furlough days are considered federal holidays, the shutdown will have no impact on any tax-filing deadlines,” it said. “The IRS will be unable to accept or acknowledge receipt of electronically filed returns on any day the agency is shut down.”
According to CNN, across-the-board budget cuts from sequestration are slicing $600 million from the agency’s budget. Representatives from the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents thousands of the agency’s workers, conducted protests in New York City last week decrying the planned furlough days.
“These furloughs must be stopped along with the ongoing attacks on federal employees,” NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley told the crowd.
The announcement comes as the IRS grapples with a scandal after agency employees were found to have excessively targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt organizational status. It also comes as the IRS faces a lawsuit alleging it illegally seized 60 million electronic health care records belonging to 10 million Americans.