Washington D.C. – Frontline IRS employees are eager for the resources to help rebuild and modernize the agency under the historic 10-year, $80 billion investment approved today by Congress.
“This is a major turning point for the IRS and all American taxpayers,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “Finally, after more than 10 years of growing workloads and shrinking staffs, the Inflation Reduction Act stops the slide and puts the IRS on a path toward becoming the most efficient and effective tax administration agency in the world.”
The House approved the Inflation Reduction Act Friday, and it now goes to President Biden for his signature.
“Giving the IRS the ability to dig out from its backlogs, upgrade its outdated computer systems and hire enough staff to meet its mission is a wise investment, because the result will be top-notch customer service and an American public with renewed confidence that the tax code is being enforced fully and fairly,” Reardon said.
The Treasury Department and the IRS are expected to release details on how they plan to allocate these new resources over the next 10 years among the agency’s many responsibilities, including customer service and enforcement.
“I won’t sugarcoat it and say that the work ahead will be easy or quick, but frontline IRS employees around the country welcome the recognition that their agency is vital to our democracy,” Reardon said. “Our country depends on a voluntary system of tax compliance in order to pay for everything government provides: national security, public health, economic stability, energy production, environmental protection, safe transportation and an endless list of other services that affect Americans every single day.”
NTEU and several internal and external IRS watchdogs have documented the damage caused when the agency lost 20 percent of its budget and workforce from 2010-2020: taxpayer phone calls that went unanswered, backlogs in taxpayer correspondence, and a fast-growing gap in the amount of taxes owed under the law and taxes actually collected.
“NTEU and the frontline employees we represent stand ready to assist IRS leadership rebuild, and have already provided our ideas on how to speed up hiring, improve employee retention, and attract the next generation of skilled professionals the agency needs,” Reardon said.
Reardon also disputed claims that the additional IRS funding will build an army of agents to target law-abiding taxpayers.
“The fact is that the IRS needs to hire across the board. That includes employees to process tax returns, experts in technology, human resource professionals and others who support the mission of the agency. Additionally, the agency expects to lose 52,000 employees in the next six years to attrition and retirements and this funding will help replace departing workers,” Reardon said. “I urge all Americans to remember that IRS employees are public servants who take an oath to the constitution, and they perform their duties with professionalism and integrity.”
NTEU represents about 150,000 employees in 34 federal agencies and offices.