Today, the IRS announced a plan to close Submission Processing (SP) operations at three of the remaining five SP sites between 2019 and 2024.
This is very distressing news and will have a major impact on the lives of thousands of dedicated employees. NTEU will be seeking additional information from the IRS to better understand the reasons behind this decision and will be considering all available options to assist you.
Yesterday, I sent the commissioner a letter requesting a detailed briefing, which will include your chapter presidents. This will give your chapter presidents the opportunity to directly ask questions about this plan of senior leadership. NTEU requires a great deal more information to evaluate this proposal and its potential impact on employees, taxpayers and your communities as we develop our action plan. Your well-being is NTEU’s highest priority.
Prior to this announcement, NTEU was not consulted about what course of action the IRS should take to address the decline in Submission Processing work so we are seeking information about any analysis IRS has conducted about workload, staffing and future projections for operations and staffing, as well as cost savings.
In a preliminary briefing with NTEU, IRS attributed the primary reasons for the decision to the increase in e-filing and decreases in paper filing. IRS said in 2015, 86 percent of returns will be filed electronically and anticipates that this year, 50 percent of business returns will be filed electronically. Other factors cited by the IRS in deciding which sites to close included sites that are in the best position to continue processing paper returns, space costs, the real estate market, the labor market, the condition of the facilities and the site’s ability to maintain workload.
IRS said the Submission Processing phase out plans are as follows:
- 2019: Cincinnati/Covington Campus
- 2021: Fresno Service Center
- 2024: Austin Campus
Other types of work at these three locations will continue. The IRS indicated it has no plans to shut these locations completely. The agency said it plans to continue to operate SP sites in Ogden and Kansas City and will begin to move work from Cincinnati to Ogden for the 2018 filing season.
We are in the very early stages of this discussion with the IRS. NTEU is committed to ensuring that you are treated fairly and all steps are taken to avoid actions that may harm you and your means of support. We will urge IRS to do all that it can to provide you with opportunities to continue your career with the IRS.
You have the support of tens of thousands of NTEU members around the country standing with you. We will provide continuous communications on the proposed change, new information, and actions NTEU is taking. Please know that NTEU will work tirelessly to assist you in every possible way.