IRS Faces Staffing Challenges
June 7, 2011 (SmartPros) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revenue officer hiring initiative added 1,515 new revenue officers to the tax agency's workforce of approximately 100,000 employees throughout the country over a nine-month period between June 2009 and February 2010.
Even so, the IRS faces challenges keeping pace with attrition and an increasing workload. Its planned hiring in Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012 will barely cover losses, according to a new report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
As the role of IRS revenue officers is to collect taxes due, they have a direct impact on the IRS’s ability to fulfill its mission. TIGTA’s report found that despite the hires, the net increase of revenue officers working delinquent accounts was only 580 revenue officers due to attrition. Meanwhile, the percentage of delinquent accounts closed by revenue officers has steadily decreased because of increasing inventory.
“This report reveals that the same challenge faced by all Federal agencies is just as problematical for the IRS,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “A key element of effective workforce planning is determining the size of the workforce needed to meet organizational goals and identifying gaps between current and future workforce needs,” he said.
TIGTA made two recommendations to assist the IRS in its ability to optimize staffing levels and track performance results. IRS management agreed with the first recommendation but stated that it already is working on a plan to track performance results. Since IRS officials did not share the plan with TIGTA during the review, the audit did not assess whether those efforts address the recommendation.
Read the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response.