Monday, April 22, 2013

Sequestration And IRS Furloughs

Last Friday the IRS sent an e-mail alerting its employees that furlough notices are looming, beginning today.
Everyone is covered by this furlough, and that means everyone from the acting commissioner and executives to managers and employees,” said acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller.

For your planning purposes, the first furlough days will be May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22 and August 30, with another two days possible in August or September.”

The National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen M. Kelley added her penetrating economic insight with the following:

Furloughing IRS employees is further evidence of the ongoing damage sequestration is causing across the country.”

Sure. It’s virtually post-apocalyptic out there.

You may remember that sequestration cuts kicked-in upon failure to arrive at a federal budget. Sequestration amounts to approximately 2 pennies per federal dollar – hardly an intimidating amount to almost anyone not drawing a government check. On the flip side, so may programs are excluded – social security, Medicare, Obama’s vacations – that the unprotected programs are facing much more than 2% average cuts.

Furlough means that IRS employees will be taking days off without pay. The financial effect will vary from family to family, of course, but it is unwelcome news.

Kudos to the IRS for not proceeding with furloughs during the filing season. It was already a difficult season, with a tax bill signed in January and a corresponding delay in the IRS accepting certain tax schedules and forms.

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