IRS plans to hire seventeen hundred. With a cash infusion and a new strategic plan, the Internal Revenue Service is planning to hire some 1,700 full time customer service representatives as it implements the new tax law, its acting chief told the National Association of Enrolled Agents, a group of certified tax advisors. Acting Commissioner David Kautter told the professional group that he also favors adding attorneys to the chief counsel’s office to handle new complexities in the law.
IRS plans to hire seventeen hundred could only happen due to increased funding from Congress. With Congress currently considering an appropriations bill that would raise the long strapped agency’t budget by $395 million, the IRS released a new five year strategic plan. The plan provides a blueprint for updating 140 computer systems and revising 450 tax forms to reflect the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It is also heavy on information technology investment to replace outdated hardware–the agency’s most important tax processing application may be the oldest IT system in government.
“We remain concerned, however, about the agency’s ability to hire and train this many new positions in time for the filing season.” the enrolled agents said in a release. “Many employers are finding it difficult to hire good people during the peak of the current business cycle and the federal civil servant hiring rules can cause significant delays and frustration.” The agency projects itw ill need to deliver 40,000 hours of training, augment its outreach program events and handle an estimated 4 million additional phone calls (a 17 percent increase), according to an agency spending plan obtained by the Wall Street Journal.
The five year plan notes that 27 percent of the workforce will be eligible to retire by the end of fiscal year 2018. “Moreover, the group that represents our next generation-those aged 25 or younger-makes up less than half of 1 percent of our workforce.”