Washington, D.C. –President Chad Hooper of the Professional Managers Association (PMA)- formed in 1981 by IRS Managers as a national membership association representing the interests of professional managers, management officials and non-bargaining unit employees in the federal government- released the following statement regarding the novel coronavirus of 2019’s impact on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS):
“The current atmosphere created by the coronavirus has an unprecedented impact on the functioning of every government agency, including the IRS. Our thoughts are with those currently grappling with the illness personally or within their families. The safety of every IRS employee is PMA’s top priority and primary concern during these turbulent times. PMA is proud to represent IRS employees who remain dedicated to public service despite difficult circumstances,” Hooper said. “PMA is encouraged by guidance from Commissioner Rettig on making telework available to employees across the Service, expanding paid leave options, and reducing non-essential travel.”
“PMA also appreciates the emphasis by Commissioner Rettig on empowering employees with the option to avoid all in-person taxpayer contact by a reasonable means. The life of an employee should not be placed in a manager’s hands. We must encourage employees to make thoughtful decisions regarding what in-person contact should be avoided for their health,” Hooper continued. “As the CDC and WHO continue to encourage social distancing, ensuring employees can minimize in-person contact with both other employees and taxpayers is critical to maintaining the health of our workforce and public.”
“To further ensure the health and safety of the IRS workforce, employees must have the necessary cleaning supplies to disinfect their spaces. During times such as these, where supply shortages make procurement of such supplies difficult, IRS employees should be allowed to bring their own supplies- when comparable to the approved supplies- into the office to clean their workspace. Regardless of where the supplies come from, employees continuing to come into work should be able to clean their office workspaces rather than risk exposure,” Hooper explained.
“Just the IRS works to lessen the virus’ spread and secure our nation against the consequences of this pandemic, we also understand lawmakers are looking for avenues to relieve the American people of the potential economic ramifications of the coronavirus. Some of these avenues, such as the proposed small business tax credits, will require additional work by IRS employees,” Hooper furthered. “Congress must ensure IRS employees are provided the adequate resource investment to implement the proposed changes. To drop additional mandates on an already strained workforce during a time of national emergency without adequate resources to implement the mandate, in the midst of tax season, would be irresponsible and cause further confusion in a time when focus and clarity is most needed.”
“The IRS is the largest revenue source for the federal government. Consistently through times of crisis, the IRS workforce has remained firm in its commitment to ensuring a timely filing season with attentive taxpayer assistance. Through the COVID-19 crisis, that commitment will not waver, and I commend IRS employees for their commitment to serving taxpayers,” Hooper concluded.