In a memorandum to IRS employees, Commissioner John Koskinen announced the IRS’ plans to hire 600 to 700 additional enforcement employees this year. Earlier in 2016, the Service added over 1,000 Wage and Investment Division (W&I) employees to taxpayer phone lines after Congress allotted the IRS $290 million to improve taxpayer service. The current move is the first major enforcement hiring in over five years and was prompted largely by attrition and retirements among enforcement employees.
The hiring cycle will come in two waves. The first will take place within the next few weeks and will focus primarily on entry level employees within the SB/SE division. The second wave will come later in the year and will focus on higher level enforcement positions within LB&I, SB/SE, TE/GE and Appeals. Employees hired in the second wave will help with high profile areas, including international tax, refund fraud and identity theft.
The hiring waves come after years of the IRS losing employees, with the Service having lost over 17,000 employees since 2010, including 5,000 in enforcement. This year alone the Service projects to lose more than 2,000 employees.
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