Employees at the Internal Revenue Service will receive some unpleasant news early next week as the agency starts sending out furlough notices as a result of the sequester, according to the head of a federal union.
Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said the notices, which will go out April 22 to the entire workforce, identifies five furlough days. There is also the possibility of another two unpaid furlough days.
“Implementation of any furlough days is a disappointing development,” Kelley said in a statement. “Furloughing IRS employees is further evidence of the ongoing damage sequestration is causing across the country.”
The five furlough days will be May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22 and Aug. 30. During those days, the IRS will shut down all public-facing operations and taxpayers will not have access to information and assistance from frontline workers, according to Kelley.
The furlough notices come in a time when considerable tax filing occurs, and on the furlough days, “phones calls to the IRS will go unanswered and Taxpayer Assistance Centers across the country will have ‘closed’ signs in their windows,” Kelley said.
“I believe this is an unprecedented event that leaves taxpayers out in the cold,” she added.