Weekly Updates

February 2023 Newsletter

February 25, 2023
PMA Scholarship Program – Apply Now

It's time to apply for one of PMA's merit-based scholarships. Each year, PMA awards ten $2,000 scholarships to our members, their families, and their grandchildren through our official charity, the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA). The deadline to submit your application is Thursday, March 16th at 3PM Eastern. Apply online today.

View this helpful webinar so you avoid common errors in the application process.

News + Updates

The beginning of a new congressional session is always a very busy time for PMA, and this one is especially so as it aligns with a change in Speaker, a change in Commissioner, and is taking place just after the 117th Congress made an historic investment in the Service through the Inflation Reduction Act.

Former Acting Commissioner Daniel I. Werfel led the IRS briefly in 2013, ahead of Commissioner John Koskinen's confirmation. President Biden nominated Werfel to succeed former Commissioner Rettig on January 3rd and his confirmation hearing was held on February 15th. We expect Werfel to be confirmed though a date for that vote has not yet been set by the Majority Leader. We expect his confirmation to occur in March. View a recording of the hearing.

Unfortunately, the IRS missed Secretary Yellen's deadline to articulate its plans for the $80 billion Inflation Reduction Act investment just two days after Werfel's hearing. PMA previously expressed its concern with the deadline's feasibility given that it was widely known that Commissioner Rettig's term was ended amidst the planning phase and that the current administration was not seeking to reappoint him. Before his departure, Commissioner Rettig invited PMA's participation and engagement on the Act's implementation and the centralized office leading it. We are disappointed that Acting Commissioner O'Donnell has not honored that invitation, particularly now that it appears the team could benefit from our support and expertise.

PMA's National Board of Directors is working this quarter to finalize our association's policy agenda for the 118th Congress. Our policy agenda establishes our legislative and advocacy priorities through December 2024. We will share those documents with you at the end of March. In the interim, we are still working hard on the Hill to ensure the new House majority is aware of our positions and our members' needs. We do expect this session to be more challenging given political trends. We want our members to be aware of the increased oversight the Service will experience and the enormous appetite there is among some members to eliminate wide swaths of the funding the Service was only just awarded.

The House Ways and Means Committee now believes the IRS is "supercharged" and established an online form for IRS workers to report any malpractice or malfeasance they believe has occurred and would be of interest to congressional oversight efforts. At this time, PMA does not recommend members use this form. The Subcommittee on Oversight, now chaired by Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-01), is ready to begin public hearings on IRS oversight.

Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office publicly released its audit of IRS information technology. The findings will not surprise our members–we are awash in modernization efforts and many are incomplete, or not even fully contemplated. Fortunately, IT modernization dollars are the only funding that both sides of Congress continue to agree we should keep.

DEIA at the Internal Revenue Service

OPM issued its first DEIA report and President Biden issued another DEIA-related Executive Order last week. We need to do better as an agency, for our employees and for each other, but also for taxpayers. We've highlighted racial disparities in the examination process for our members in the past. Now, Stanford University, in partnership with the Treasury Department, has concluded what is widely known about our examination algorithm: we are overselecting Black taxpayers for audit. It is true that the IRS does not have race-based data in its systems and it is PMA's belief that no one intentionally designed our examination systems to cause harm to Black taxpayers.

However, we strenuously disagree that there is nothing to be done about it. For example, one of the study's findings suggests that the Service's limitation on selecting complex EITC returns leads to a greater disparity. The study also agreed with PMA and the National Taxpayer Advocate that there are a number of policy issues that must be corrected by Congress if we are going to ensure all taxpayers are treated fairly. We look forward to working with Congress to educate them about the challenges we face enforcing family-based refundable credits.

PMA Member Spotlight

PMA's National Board of Directors recognized two members for their outstanding efforts in recruiting new members to our association in 2022. Congratulations to Aurea Rodriguez Colon (W&I CAS AM) and Ismael Torres, Jr. (SCR-CO) for recruiting nearly 50 new members to PMA last year! Their efforts will help PMA establish its chapter in Puerto Rico. Our National Board expects to have that completed by the end of the filing season.

Board Outreach Save-the-Date

Our National Board of Directors election season will begin next month. We will elect three board members from our active IRS employee members in the current cycle. Eligible members are encouraged to keep an eye on their inbox for more information about our upcoming Board Information Session scheduled for March 21, 2023, at 3PM Eastern.

The session will provide members interested in board service an opportunity to learn more about PMA's National Board and our election process.

PMA – Join Us Now

PMA is the only association advocating exclusively on behalf of IRS managers, management officials, other non-bargaining workers, leadership development program participants, and retirees from those roles. Through our renewed relationship with the IRS, we’ve worked to identify problems and recommend solutions around many complex workforce issues such as performance pay, leave, professional liability, and safety, to name only a few. We are working diligently to strengthen the IRS and enhance management through our relationships in Congress - at times even sharing our members' individual stories to fortify congressional understanding of our working conditions. We do all of this and more for only $4.50 per pay period – an incredible value.

If you're reading this and you're not yet a member, use the attached form to join us today! If you know a retiree who would benefit from our advocacy, we offer lifetime memberships to them for a one-time payment. Membership also comes with many additional benefits such as discounted rates from our sponsor FEDS Protection.

Don't forget to follow PMA on social media. You can forward this email to your personal address to check out our Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter channels.

Educational Opportunities

Don't miss our blog post on managers' performance documentation.

The servant leadership model has long been praised for helping leaders authentically prioritize their people, resulting in increased performance and profits for their organizations. However, it has also been interpreted (and practiced) as a model that advocates subverting self in favor of others. Is there a way to reimagine the servant leadership model in a way that allows leaders to take care of themselves first, in order to effectively serve the team they lead?

View a recording of this one-hour webinar and explore new ways to approach the servant leadership model by leading with self-awareness and resilience. We cast a new light on what servant leadership means, bringing our research and expertise to bear on how we take care of others by first taking care of ourselves.

Weekly updates