IRS building, Washington DC shutterstock ID: 395325124 by  Rob Crandall

IRS reforms begin to take shape

A major union representing thousands of employees at the Internal Revenue Service is hopeful about reforms—and improved resources and procedures—taking shape at the long hard-put agency.

The National Treasury Employees Union this week is reiterating its support for an IRS implementation plan that proposes to do just that.

“The IRS plan for implementing the Taxpayer First Act is a broad, ambitious roadmap,” NTEU states in an announcement on its homepage. “[One] that, if given adequate funding and resources, would modernize the agency, empower employees through more advanced training and improve taxpayer services for all Americans.”

The plan is the big leap to action, in the wake of the Taxpayer First Act, passed in 2019.

“In passing the Taxpayer First Act, Congress wisely recognized the need for the IRS to upgrade nearly every aspect of tax code enforcement and administration, and that process took an important step today with the release of the agency’s long-term reorganization plan,” Tony Reardon, NTEU president, said in a statement. “Frontline IRS employees, who are represented by NTEU, are committed to the agency’s mission of providing excellent customer service and we are glad to see that conversation started in earnest with the release of the IRS plan.”

The union, and member employees, can take heart. Many of the long-delayed improvements included in action plans follow from recommendations made by employees, who the union consulted and continues to consult as it works with management on next steps.

For instance, the union finds that most employees believe there are just too many “electronic, non-interactive” training platforms. So, they are working to change that to in-person, interactive programs—as soon as the pandemic subsides.

The union also continues to press Congress and management to implement steady multi-year funding and to increase hiring—“to make up for the 33,000 employees lost between 2010 and 2020, especially in the area of tax enforcement,” NTEU said, emphasizing that the agency remains under-resourced.

Reader comments

Tue, Jan 12, 2021

First step should be immediately securing permanent telework options.

Tue, Jan 12, 2021

One can hope.

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2021 Digital Almanac

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