For those who think taxes are unconstitutional thievery, this may come off as good news.

But for everyone else, the IRS’ announcement of five agency-wide shutdown days (furloughs) just means longer waits and more hassle.

The IRS will be unavailable for all services, as of now, on the following days this year: May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22, and August 30.

Don’t forget that many tax obligations are ongoing.  Forbes.com contributor Kelly Philips notes that while there is reason to be relieved the furloughs didn’t happen before tax day, the following deadlines occur near the furlough dates:

  • May 15: nonprofit tax returns are due
  • June 17: estimated payments for individual taxpayers are due
  • June 30: FBAR reports (offshore accounts disclosures) are due
  • September 16: estimated payments for individual taxpayers are due
  • September 16: corporate, partnership and estate/trust income tax returns on extension are due

The furloughs are just part of prior and future cuts the IRS is forced to manage as part of the sequester.  The National Treasuries Employee Union (NTEU) President Colleen Kelley says that “Furloughing IRS employees is further evidence of the ongoing damage sequestration is causing across the country,” and added that the IRS already had to operate “this filing season with 5,000 fewer employees than just two years ago.”

Still don’t care?  Remember that this year’s tax-season was already delayed by 2-weeks, and many taxpayers have been frustrated by delayed returns.  Slashing the IRS budget will only increase errors and delays, adding to the already too difficult burden of tax compliance.

Like all federal employees IRS workers are already on their third year of a pay-freeze.  According to Kelley, “It is clear that the best course for federal employees, their agencies and the nation would be for Congress to end the sequester.”

The NTEU is the largest independent federal  union, representing over 150,000 employees across 31 agencies and departments.  

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