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IRS Will Close To Public For Five Days Due to Furloughs

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- The Internal Revenue Service will close all of its public operations on five days from now through August because of employee furloughs, acting commissioner Steve Miller told employees in a memo today.

The tax agency will be closed and almost all employees will be furloughed on May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22 and Aug. 30, Miller wrote. The closing will affect operations such as the IRS toll-free lines and taxpayer assistance centers.

As many as two more furlough days may be needed in August and September, Miller wrote.

“We came to a decision that balances our primary mission to serve the taxpayers and considers the effect on employees,” he wrote. “We settled on having uniform furlough dates for everyone and closing down agency operations entirely. This way, the IRS can gain additional cost savings on utilities and other services in our work locations.”

Government agencies are furloughing employees to accommodate the budget reductions that took effect March 1.

Miller had said earlier that he wanted to delay furloughs until after the April 15 tax-filing deadline for individuals.

Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS workers, called the furloughs a “disappointing development” and warned about the effect on taxpayers who file on deadlines besides April 15.

“I believe this is an unprecedented event that leaves taxpayers out in the cold,” she said in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Rubin in Washington at rrubin12@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net

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