IRS has issued an updated version of its government shutdown contingency plan for the 2019 tax season. It includes the call back to service of 46,052 of IRS’s 80,265 employees.
IRS contingency plans, generally. IRS has a contingency plan that it updates annually. The plan, called the IRS Lapse in Appropriations Contingency Plan, describes actions and activities for the first five business days following a lapse in appropriations. It also provides that, in the event the lapse extends beyond five business days, as is the current case, the Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support will direct the IRS Human Capital Officer to reassess ongoing activities and identify necessary adjustments of excepted positions and personnel.
Employees needed. Of the 46,052 employees, the plan contemplates that there will be:
… 346 employees in the Chief Counsel’s office. Chief Counsel’s primary responsibility during a lapse is to manage pending litigation, the time-sensitive filing of motions, briefs, answers and other pleadings related to the protection of the government’s material interests.
…9 employees in the Return Preparers office.
…163 employees in the Large Business and International (LB&I) division. With limited exceptions, these employees will be on “on call.”
…2,938 employees in the Small Business/Self-Employed (SBSE) division, of which 2,614 will be in Collection and 264 will be in Examination.
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act funding. IRS’s plan notes that, in enacting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97, 2017), Congress provided the Treasury Department with funds that will remain available until September 30, 2019. Thus, some implementation activities would not be affected by a lapse in appropriations in Fiscal Year 2019.
Effecting the plan. This plan will become effective after IRS receives official notification from the Department of the Treasury.