E-gov and IRS
May 7, 2009 at 7:48 pm #71578
From the Washington Post (second item in the Federal Diary column)
The Internal Revenue Service is about to give some workers the boot, and their representatives are trying to ensure that they have a soft landing.
Several members of Congress have asked a special inspector general to give employment preference to the employees facing layoffs as he builds his staff to oversee a federal bailout program.
The members urged Neil M. Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Assets Relief Program, "to afford these employees preference in hiring as you continue to hire TARP and other economic oversight personnel."
About 1,400 IRS staffers are slated to be laid off by September at Massachusetts facilities. Computerization is the cause. With more Americans filing tax forms electronically, fewer people are needed to deal with paper returns.
But the six House members who wrote an April 30 letter to Barofsky said that "only 57% of all returns were filed electronically in 2007, 23 percent less than anticipated. . . . While overall use of e-filing may be on the rise, it is clear that the number of taxpayers opting to use this type of return is not increasing as rapidly as the IRS had originally projected."
The IRS said yesterday that it is creating almost 300 new positions at the Andover, Mass., facility that the employees may be eligible to take.
In February, 15 representatives and senators asked the IRS to postpone the layoffs for three years. Now, some of those are working to find TARP work for the employees when the terminations come, while the members continue to press for a comprehensive review of the layoff plan.
Those representatives who signed the April letter are Massachusetts Democrats Stephen F. Lynch, Niki Tsongas, Michael E. Capuano, Barney Frank and John W. Olver, and New Hampshire Democrat Paul W. Hodes.
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