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PMA Statement on Taxpayer First Act Report to Congress

January 11, 2020

Washington, D.C. –Executive Director Chad Hooper of the Professional ManagersAssociation (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 Internal Revenue Service (IRS)report to Congress on IRS implementation of the Taxpayer First Act (TFA):

“TheTaxpayer First Act (TFA) fundamentally changed our government’s approach to taxation and undertook significant modernization efforts to improve the delivery of taxpayer services. PMA commends the IRS for looking towards the future to provide a framework for the hard work ahead. The report to Congress stresses the need for sustained and dedicated funding for IRS operations and modernization to ensure continued effective service to taxpayers,” Hooper explained.

“The report outlines the need for $4.1 billion over the five-year period from FY2021to FY2025 to allow for full implementation of TFA. To ensure consistent and dedicated funding, PMA calls on Congress to fund modernization efforts and IT overhauls in a dedicated, multi-year fashion aside from typical appropriations,” Hooper furthered. “Too often, government funding battles and continuing resolutions halt modernization planning and investment. The IRS needs consistent, guaranteed funding to meet the evolving needs of taxpayers and to effectively meet the expectations outlined in laws such as TFA.”

“Furthermore, the equitable and effective delivery of taxpayer services relies on an experienced, diverse, and well-trained IRS workforce. PMA calls on Congress to invest in the growth and development of the IRS workforce. It is critical that our government recruit and retain a diverse cadre of talented employees to meet the needs of the American people. PMA stands ready as an association of IRS managers and employees to support the TFA work and be part of the conversation on how to continue improving the IRS,” Hooper continued.

“Finally, it would be remiss not to acknowledge the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the threat that poses to the IRS workforce and its delivery of taxpayer services.The Service is to be commended for its efforts this year to adopt large scale telework options for staff in the wake of the virus’ spread. Unfortunately, there are still significant proportions of the IRS workforce and workload which simply cannot be performed remotely, including with the Service’s enforcement mission. It is when enforcement resources are strained that our nation often sees inequitable service delivery, particularly impacting the enforcement of tax penalties against low income people of color. As the IRS works to implement TFA, provide stimulus to Americans in need, and conduct its regular filing season, it is critical Congress provide dedicated, multi-year funding streams to prevent inequitable gaps in enforcement.” Hooper concluded, “Modernization efforts and sustained funding play a critical role in ensuring the IRS is flexible to national emergencies and changes in law as well as able to deliver services equally to all Americans.”

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