NTEU Takes Action Against Harmful IRS Bills

This week, the House is expected to consider several bills that would harm the IRS—and NTEU is voicing strong opposition to them. The union sent a letter to all House members on Friday urging them to vote “no” and outlining NTEU's opposition to each of the bills. See what you can do

“NTEU believes all of these bills would weaken IRS’ ability to carry out its taxpayer service and enforcement mission, and undermine efforts to retain dedicated and experienced employees,” National President Tony Reardon wrote.

Here is a closer look at the bills and why NTEU opposes them:

The IRS Oversight While Eliminating Spending (OWES) Act of 2016 (H.R. 4885)requires user fees the IRS collects for services to be deposited in the general Treasury fund and prevents the IRS from spending the funds without going through the appropriations process.

NTEU’s Position:
 The IRS must have the resources necessary to carry out its mission and to retain the flexibility to allocate user fee revenues as necessary. Prohibiting the IRS from keeping its user fees is effectively an immediate annual budget cut of $400 million to an already financially-strapped agency. 

No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act (H.R. 1206) would prohibit any new hiring at the IRS until the Secretary of the Treasury certifies that no current employee has a seriously delinquent tax debt.  

NTEU’s Position: This bill singles out IRS employees, who have the highest tax compliance rate in the federal government—more than 99 percent.

While all IRS employees should pay their taxes in full and on time, the union is concerned about how the bill defines a seriously delinquent tax debt. Basing the IRS’ ability to hire additional personnel on an uncertain standard is unjustified and will only harm an agency that has already lost more than 15,000 employees in five years.

H.R. 4890 would ban performance awards for IRS employees until the Treasury Secretary develops and implements a comprehensive customer service strategy. 

NTEU’s Position: NTEU believes this bill would only undermine the IRS’s retention of experienced, dedicated employees. It unfairly punishes front-line employees who have already seen significant pay hardships in recent years.

What's more, the IRS has already provided a comprehensive strategy to improve taxpayer services as part of its fiscal 2017 budget request. However, the IRS needs Congress to provide the necessary resources so that the agency can implement this plan.

NTEU will continue to fight to ensure that IRS employees are treated fairly, compensated appropriately and given the resources necessary to successfully perform their duties on behalf of American taxpayers. 

Thank you for all you do, especially as this challenging filing season concludes.

Article originally appeared on NTEU Chapter 67 (http://www.nteu67.org/).
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