Weekly Updates

IRS Funding, Pay Raises, & Other Updates

June 25, 2021
IRS News

Through July 6th, the IRS is surveying its workforce to inform its strategy post-pandemic. The survey is open to all, confidential, and voluntary. We encourage our members to participate – it will only take five minutes to complete. The future of work has changed, and this is your opportunity to help transform the modern IRS workplace. Click here to access the survey.

The Congress is considering two important pieces of legislation which have the potential to change the IRS for the better. The House Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee released their draft FY22 funding legislation. The bill provides $13.6B for the IRS, an increase of $1.7B above the FY21 funding level. When adjusted for inflation, the bill still falls short of FY10 ($15B). PMA is appreciative of any increases to the IRS’s operating budget, and we hope the Congress will consider bolder action to ensure the IRS can provide top quality service to America’s taxpayers. The other major piece of legislation is the $1.2T infrastructure bill. This bill provides $40B in new IRS funding which is critical to ensuring businesses and the wealthiest Americans pay what they owe in taxes. PMA is working hard to engage our Congressional partners on both sides of the aisle to be sure everyone understands why this funding is so badly needed.

The recent ProPublica story about the top .001% of taxpayers is already undermining our legislative work. The GOP was already skeptical of growing the IRS’s budget and this reporting provides the basis for lawmakers to call for investigations of the agency. We are working with our partners to help focus the conversation on the IRS’s needs and what our members need to be successful. We are also working to help the Congress understand how the IRS’s current enforcement budget leads to disparate impact on underserved communities. If you have any information regarding this leak, please contact TIGTA immediately. The sooner we can move past this, the better.

Soon advance child tax credit payments will hit taxpayers’ bank accounts. Please be sure you’re eligible to receive them because any improper overpayment will need to be repaid at tax time next year. To support taxpayers, the Commissioner announced free tax preparation for taxpayers in a dozen regions of the country with high populations of school-aged children.

DC News

The FY22 draft budget bill text is silent on Civil Service pay raises. When the bill is silent on pay, then the President’s pay recommendation goes into effect. Currently, President Biden is calling for a 2.7% increase for civilian workers. While very grateful for pay increases for our members, PMA feels strongly that the Congress should legislate this pay raise. We are working with Congress to include the raise explicitly in their bill because Federal workers deserve recognition from their elected representatives. The Congress also holds the “power of the purse” and should not delegate that responsibility to the Executive branch.

OPM issued guidance stating that fully vaccinated Federal workers are free to travel once again. Presently, the IRS is limiting travel to mission-critical only. The guidance is clear that agencies can decide what’s best for their workers so the IRS will have flexibility in determining whether to resume travel this year.

President Biden issued a new Executive Order today to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal workforce. PMA has worked closely with the Administration and our partner associations across government to promote DEIA throughout the Civil Service. The order gives OPM and OMB 100 days to assess the current state of the government and begin work on a comprehensive review of our recruitment, hiring, and retention practices to ensure the Federal government remains the nation’s model employer. We are eager to support this work, particularly for our members with disabilities. Too often, these members are overlooked, and we have a long way to go before the IRS is fully accessible for all.

OPM finally has a Senate-confirmed director, Kiran Ahuja was confirmed this week. MSPB is finally nearing a quorum with the President’s second nominee to the Board sent to the Senate as well. These are important appointments for PMA’s work to advocate for better working conditions for our members. We will continue to press the Administration to name appointees to the remaining MSPB vacancies.

Benefits Watch

OPM opened a special enrollment period for Flexible Spending Accounts and that period will end on June 30th. Be sure to determine whether you need to enroll before it’s too late. BCBS is offering $50 to all plan participants who demonstrate proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. We’ve believed for some time that telework is the future of government and now we can be sure of it. The House minority is calling for investigations into teleworker productivity during the pandemic, something they would like to study before a major and permanent telework expansion. Paid family leave is also under debate in the Congress. The bill calls for the paid parental leave program to be expanded to cover most FMLA-related reasons. This means that the leave would no longer be unpaid, and PMA supports it. We will keep you updated as it progresses through the House.

Upcoming Events

We recommend using your personal device to attend these events for the best experience.

Join us on July 13th from 10AM - 3:30PM Eastern for a virtual summit. As vaccines have become widely available and mask restrictions eased, the Federal government is poised to undergo another transformation in where, when, and how its workforce operates. What are the technologies, policies, and cultures that will define government work for the next year? And how are agencies adapting to remain resilient in the face of future challenges? During this virtual summit, Government Executive and Nextgov will explore how leaders can navigate the changes currently underway and take a look at workforce trends on the horizon.This conference is open to all. Click here to register for this free event.

Join us on July 15th from 2PM - 3:30PM Eastern for a webinar. You will hear directly from industry and government leaders who are meeting the moment by applying innovative, human-centered approaches that rethink customer experience to solve complex problems on a societal scale. Eric Markow, Director of the IRS's Web Applications Enterprise Program Management Office will speak. This webinar is open to all. Click here to register for this free event.

Join us on July 20th from 3PM - 4PM Eastern for a presentation. WAEPA's SVP of Operations will give a presentation on their important products designed to keep you and your family secure during difficult times. Learn about life insurance, short-term disability coverage, chronic illness protections, and more. WAEPA is a new sponsor of PMA. This webinar is open to all. Click here to register for this free event.

Market Watch – Update from our Financial Advisor

Wade Guemmer, PMA’s in-house financial advisor and benefits expert, published an article about hiccups in the American supply chain which are impacting market conditions. Click here to read more on your personal device.

PMA Celebrates Pride Month

PMA honors all our members who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. As President Biden proclaimed, “During LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we recognize the resilience and determination of the many individuals who are fighting to live freely and authentically. In doing so, they are opening hearts and minds, and laying the foundation for a more just and equitable America. This Pride Month, we affirm our obligation to uphold the dignity of all people and dedicate ourselves to protecting the most vulnerable among us.” We join the President in his wish that the Congress pass the Equality Act - we cannot progress together if some of us are left behind.

Weekly updates