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IRS to close dozens of offices

The Internal Revenue Service announced what it called "a sweeping office space and rent reduction initiative."

The Internal Revenue Service announced what it called “a sweeping office space and rent reduction initiative” that will shut down 43 smaller offices and trim back space in many larger facilities.

The agency said it estimates that the move, which will take place over the next two years, will save more than $40 million through the end of fiscal 2013. When combined with space reductions the agency made last year, the initiative will boost total IRS office space cuts by more than 1 million square feet, IRS said.

“Cutting and consolidating our real estate is a responsible way we can save money,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a May 22 press statement. Shulman called the space cuts “an important addition to our growing portfolio of cost-saving measures.”

Each of the offices slated for closing has fewer than 25 employees, and none of them operate walk-in taxpayer assistance centers, according to IRS.

The agency said the reduction initiative also includes other strategies, such as consolidating offices within the same commuting area, and looking for ways to leverage the usability of existing space through desk-sharing and more telecommuting.

IRS said space-saving projects the agency has implemented over the past seven years are yielding $70 million a year in rental savings.

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