IRS employees to protest furloughs in New York

May 7, 2013

Furloughs at the Internal Revenue Service will be the focus of a union rally in New York Tuesday morning, as hundreds of employees at the tax agency are expected to protest unpaid days forced by the federal budget cuts known as sequestration.

The “Stop the Sequester” rally is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. at 26 Federal Plaza. National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen M. Kelley and chapter leaders from New York and New Jersey will speak. The NTEU represents IRS employees.

(Susan Walsh/AP)
(Susan Walsh/AP)

As a result of the $85 billion in budget cuts that took effect across the government in March, the IRS plans to shut down all public operations on five days between May 24 and Aug. 30. Employees could be asked to take an additional two days in August or September.

The furloughs were arranged to take place after tax season. But opponents say closing the agency still will inconvenience taxpayers. Union officials also say the freeze on most hiring at the IRS, part of its strategy to cover the budget cuts, is hampering its enforcement operation, which brings in revenue to the U.S. Treasury by going after tax cheats.

Lisa Rein covers the federal workforce and issues that concern the management of government.
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