IRS to hire hundreds of new enforcement employees

IRS to hire hundreds of new enforcement employees
© Cameron Lancaster

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is going to hire between 600 and 700 new employees focused on tax enforcement, the agency's head announced.

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The addition will be the agency's first significant enforcement hiring in more than five years, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a message to agency employees.

"This is a good development for our tax system," Koskinen said. "When you look at the IRS overall, every dollar invested in us returns at least $4 to the Treasury. The numbers are even higher when it involves enforcement. Each enforcement position typically returns almost $10 to the U.S. Treasury for every dollar spent — and in many instances, much more."

The IRS has seen its staff shrink over the past several years as a result of significant budget cuts. The agency expects that by the end of this year, it will have lost more than 17,000 employees since 2010. More than 5,000 of those workers have been in enforcement areas, Koskinen said.

The agency determined it is able to hire new enforcement employees because of the attrition rate in the area and employees' work to improve IRS efficiency, Koskinen said.

"While adding 600 to 700 new enforcement hires will not replace those who have left, it will help fill key gaps in our enforcement workforce created by years of attrition and will provide existing employees promotion and developmental opportunities, including serving as mentors and instructors for the new staff," Koskinen said.