Following recent budget cuts, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen announced that a shutdown is currently being considered as one possible way to save the agency money. He explained, “People call it furloughs; I view it as: Are we going to have to shut the place down? And at this point, that will be the last thing we do… But there is no way we can say right now that that won’t happen.”
In recent budget revisions, Congress cut the IRS budget to $10.9 billion, $1.5 billion less than the agency requested. The IRS was one of few agencies to experience budget cuts this year, regardless of the impending tax season that will require the implementation of Obamacare credits and the exaction of penalties for the new tax evasion law.
In addition, the agency also faces a mandated federal employee pay raise of one-percent. Koskinen says, “It’s not just the $350 million cut in the budget; it’s the fact that we have $250 million in new expenses for a government-wide pay raise. …So we really have a $600 million hole this year.”
The potential shutdown could save the IRS an estimated $29 million a day. At a press conference held on December 16th, Koskinen explained that while it’s a last resort, the IRS could close anywhere from one to a number of days in order to offset the difference. This news followed an email warning IRS employees of suspended overtime and a hiring freeze.
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Bade, Rachael. “IRS Warns of Possible Shutdown.” 18 December 2014 Politico.com