The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced plans to close more processing sites around the country.
The most recent sites targeted for closures are those that process paper tax returns in Covington, Kentucky/Cincinnati (2019); Fresno, California (2021); and Austin, Texas (2024). According to the IRS, the result would be a loss of 1,800 employees in Covington; 3,000 employees in Fresno; and 2,400 employees in Austin. The reason for the closures are largely economic: the percentage of individual tax returns filed electronically has grown from 58% in 2008 to 86% in 2015. The IRS anticipates that the numbers of taxpayers filing paper returns will continue in future years.
The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), the nation’s largest independent union of federal employees, representing 150,000 workers in 31 departments and agencies including the IRS, responded to the proposed changes, saying:
NTEU will aggressively pursue all available measures to avoid or mitigate the impact of these closings on affected employees in these three locations. Their well-being is our top priority. We want to make sure our members are treated fairly and that all steps are taken to avoid actions that may harm them.
As part of its next steps, the NTEU has asked for a detailed briefing from the IRS.