Now that tax season is over for the on-time filers, many IRS employees can relax just a little. And for at least 5 additional days this year they actually can relax at home . . . without pay. Bloomberg apparently got its hands on an internal IRS memorandum informing IRS employees which days have been scheduled as furlough days this year.
The IRS furlough dates are:
- May 24
- June 14
- July 5
- July 22
- August 30
These furlough dates were chosen to coincide with the federal holidays already on the calendar, so we will be looking at several four and five-day IRS closures throughout the rest of 2012. I say five days because the IRS often shuts down early the day before a holiday, sometimes for computer maintenance, and sometimes so they aren’t disturbed during their potlucks. I’ve always thought that “computer maintenance” was code for holiday party or potluck, but that’s just my slightly jaded opinion.
The IRS, as well as many other federal government agencies, is resorting to furloughs in reaction to budget reductions that took effect earlier this year. Acting IRS Commissioner, Steven Miller, explained his reasoning for the agency-wide closures:
We came to a decision that balances our primary mission to serve the taxpayers and considers the effect on employees. We settled on having uniform furlough dates for everyone and closing down agency operations entirely. This way, the IRS can gain additional cost savings on utilities and other services in our work locations.
According to Miller, the closures will affect all local taxpayer assistance centers and call centers. IRS.gov should be up, but the availability of online services such as Transcript Delivery Service and other IRS practitioner tools is unknown. And, if necessary, there may be an additional two furlough days coming in August and September. Plan your vacations accordingly.