(Washington, DC) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on January 31 that there will be no furloughs for its employees in Fiscal Year 2014 (FY’14). While this would seem to be good news for IRS employees, the hard facts show that a number of issues will create the perfect storm leading to extra work for most employees.
The FY’14 budget gives the IRS $11.3 billion. In FY’13, the agency received $11.8 billion, but the sequester took back $500 million, leaving them with $11.3 billion. In short, their FY’14 budget is a flat budget.
To make matters worse, IRS officials recently required each Federal and quasi-Federal agency to notify employees that they do indeed need to pay taxes, just like every other American who isn’t a multi-millionaire or multi-billionaire, and must do so by the traditional April 15th deadline. This potentially means hundreds of thousands of forms to process, and due to budgetary restrictions, there will be no additional staff and no overtime.
“We feel that we can squeeze more work out of our current employees,” said an IRS spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s not like we’d expect an ‘incident’ by overworking those who would be led.”
All IRS employees don’t seem to share the spokesman’s assessment. “I’m near a nervous breakdown already,” said an IRS employee, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Adding to my work will just make things worse. I’d like to say that I can count on mental health professionals because of coverage through Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act), but I haven’t been able to sign in and sign up.”
The spokesman also addressed the issue of the mandatory “pay your taxes” notification for Federal employees. “The IRS wants to make sure that average, ordinary, everyday Americans know the agency is doing its job,” said an IRS spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Federal employees aren’t exempt from paying taxes, though it does seem silly that they’re essentially paying their own salaries.”
But many Federal employees have come to resent the reminders sent out by their superiors. And their superiors’ superiors. And their superiors’ superiors’ superiors. And so on.
“Now average, ordinary, everyday Americans will think that we’re all deadbeats,” said a concerned Federal employee, speaking on condition of anonymity. And they’ll also think that we’re all stupid. Who needs a reminder to pay taxes? In life, there are three guarantees: death, taxes, and a dysfunctional Congress.”
“What’s annoying is the usual lack of communication means I’ve received eight copies of the notice,” said an annoyed Federal employee, speaking on condition of anonymity. “First, I don’t need to be told to pay my taxes. Second, I don’t need to be told eight times. It’s like a scene out of Office Space or something.”