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IRS going the Postal Service route

The Internal Revenue Service is going the way of the U.S. Postal Service.

Irs building signWait. Let me clarify that.

I'm not talking "going postal." Rather, the IRS says it will be reducing the number of its facilities, much the way the Post Office looked earlier this year to shutter the doors of some of its operations.

The reason in both cases is, what else, money.

The IRS today announced a sweeping office space and rent reduction initiative that over the next two years will close 43 smaller offices and reduce space in many larger facilities.

The changes are projected to save more than $40 million over two fiscal years, $17.2 million in annual rental costs in fiscal 2012 and $23.5 million in fiscal 2013.

Coupled with last year's space reductions, the IRS says its upcoming literal moves will slash the agency's total office space by more than one million square feet.

"Given today's tight budget environment, we have to be willing to make the tough but responsible calls to save taxpayer dollars," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman in a statement announcing the moves. "Cutting and consolidating our real estate is a responsible way we can save money. It's an important addition to our growing portfolio of cost-saving measures."

The plan calls for the IRS to:

  • Close 43 smaller offices. These are offices that currently have fewer than 25 employees. There was no mention of the displaced workers, but they presumably will be able to move to other offices.
  • Consolidate multiple offices within the same commuting area.
  • Explore innovative ways to do more with existing space, such as desk sharing and increased telecommuting.

No walk-in Taxpayer Assistance Centers are on the list. That means, says the IRS, the closures should have minimal taxpayer impact.

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Michael S Cash

Penny wise and pound foolish. The increase in other costs and lower collections because of lost productive time by field function employees who work in these offices and will have to travel to outlying areas and not being where you are needed is going to cost way more than the savings.

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