Officials at the Internal Revenue Service are looking to hire more employees to handle tax enforcement, compliance and administration of the tax code, even as more of the IRS’s older workers retire and leave the agency, particularly after the month-long government shutdown last December and January.
“For those of you who have always wondered what it might be like to work at the Internal Revenue Service if you’ve not been there, come on board,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.
He noted that the IRS Chief Counsel’s office is hiring, the Large Business and International division is hiring, as are the Small Business/Self-Employed, Criminal Investigation and information technology units.
“It can be a tremendous experience,” Rettig added. “It can be an experience that you find tremendously rewarding, and I think it's an experience that you should reach out for.”
IRS Chief Counsel Michael Desmond acknowledged that recruitment of staff is one of his highest priorities. “I think one of the biggest challenges, and this isn’t unique to Chief Counsel, it’s shared on the commissioner’s side as well, is legacy planning, both at the leadership level and also for just bringing in younger attorneys,” he said.
We’ve got some excellent young lawyers who have come in, particularly in the last year under the TCJA [Tax Cuts and Jobs Act], and we’ve been able to do a little bit of hiring for the last five or 10 years, but it’s by no means filling the attrition that we’ve had.”
One of the other major priorities is helping develop guidance for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Desmond said there has been a steep learning curve, though, in developing guidance for brand new provisions such as FDII (foreign derived intangible income) and GILTI (global intangible low-taxed income).
Douglas O’Donnell, commissioner of the IRS’s Large Business and International division, said the LB&I group is hiring hundreds more people, while also losing hundreds to retirement.
We did get authority this year to hire 500-plus people new to the division, but we’re not growing by 500. We’re hiring 550, but we’ve been losing about 7 percent of our workforce a year to retirement, so the net increase in the division is roughly 200 to 250.
Among the new hires are revenue agents, appraisers and computer engineers, he noted. The LB&I division has been leveraging technology such as data analytics to make up for shortfalls in personnel and now has the ability to look across an entire filing population with its new enforcement and examination campaigns.
Our first class started June 10 for the revenue officers. We start to train the first wave of revenue agents in July, so we’re extremely excited about that. We still have our jobs open on USAJobs, so if you have any friends or family, we are a great organization.”
We’re hopefully going to bring in somewhere in the range of 500 or 600 revenue officers this year, but again we’re churning out a lot. We’re churning out about 250, so that attrition rate is a little bit higher for us.
However, the IRS is hiring more agents for the Criminal Investigation unit this year and next year. “By the time this fiscal year is over, we will have hired probably about 150 agents,” said Fort. Next year, we’ve got tentative approval for about 10 classes, which means anywhere from about 200 to 250 agents, so we’ll finally start to see an increase. That’s great news.”
Marini& Associates, P.A.
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