IRS workforce to shrink

IRS workforce to shrink
© Greg Nash

The Internal Revenue Service expects its workforce to decline by 2,000 to 3,000 full-time employees during the current fiscal year, the agency’s commissioner, John Koskinen, said.

This decrease in workers will bring the IRS’ total loss to more than 17,000 since fiscal 2010, Koskinen said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Wednesday.

While the IRS received its first funding increase in six years for fiscal 2016, the agency still has substantial financial constraints, Koskinen said.

“If we could simply put the budget of this agency on a stable, sustainable basis, it would make a huge change and improvement in taxpayer service and enforcement,” he said.

For fiscal 2017, the agency is requesting an increase in total funding of about $1 billion that would be used for 15 initiatives, including taxpayer services, enforcement and implementing ObamaCare, Koskinen said.

In his testimony before the committee earlier Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewOvernight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint Obama-era Treasury secretary: Tax law will make bipartisan deficit-reduction talks harder GOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system MORE also said the IRS needs more resources for enforcement.

“We still have gaps in the IRS budget that just don’t give us the resources we need to enforce as effectively as we should,” he said.