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May 3 — The IRS will soon expand its enforcement staff by at least 600 and possibly 700, with the aim of targeting high-profile areas such as international tax issues, refund fraud and identity theft, Commissioner John Koskinen said.
The move—the first significant enforcement hiring in more than five years—is “a good development for our tax system,” Koskinen said in a May 3 internal message to the Internal Revenue Service workforce.
The action is critical after years of job losses throughout the agency and broad funding cuts by Congress, Koskinen told employees. Funding for the IRS is down by more than $900 million since 2010, but its current employees managed to pull off efficiencies that helped make the hiring possible, he said.
The IRS also decided it needed more enforcement help as employees left the agency through retirement or other forms of attrition.
Koskinen said the hiring will happen via two waves of job announcements. The first will be for entry-level positions, mostly in the Small Business and Self-Employed Division.
In the second, the IRS will offer higher-level jobs designed to help the agency crack down on those who duck international tax laws, steal identities and scheme to fraudulently get refunds. These jobs will be in the Large Business and International, SB/SE and Tax-Exempt and Government Entities divisions, as well as in the Office of Appeals, Koskinen said.
While adding as many as 700 enforcement workers won't replace those who have left, Koskinen said, it “will help fill key gaps” and is “an important step in the right direction.”
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Text of Koskinen's memo to staff is in TaxCore.
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