Is the IRS Finally Shutting Down?
What the IRS 2020 Budget Tells Us
Whenever we see news on the IRS and the struggles they face internally, whether it be financial, staffing or performance related, we think “Is the IRS finally shutting down?” Now, here’s the thing we need to ask ourselves in addition: “Is there any merit to this?” The state of the IRS is constantly in flux, so I want to give you some data for a more accurate look at the IRS’s well-being.
According to the 2018 IRS Data Book, the agency has about 73,519 current full-time personnel. However, since 2010, the IRS’s overall staffing has declined by 22.4%.
2015 Staffing Levels
Now, the IRS’s 2020 budget is requesting additional funding for compliance positions such as auditors and collectors. But the request does not fully address the attrition that has occurred over the last five (5) years. For instance: the 2020 budget would add 943 full-time examination (audit) employees for a total of 9,148 staff members. This would return examination function staffing to 2015 levels when the IRS employed 9,189 examination personnel.
Not Shutting Down
The attrition of examination personnel in 2015 (342) and 2016 (642) alone was 984. The IRS’s proposed 2020 budget adds some full-time IRS collectors for a total of 2,537, which doesn’t make up for the attrition of 264 collectors from 2015 alone. So, it’s safe to say the IRS isn’t shutting down just yet. Their annual budget allocation does tell a story, but there is an assortment of aspects in play.
~ Michael Raanan MBA, EA, Former IRS Agent