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IRS Employees Worried About Delays During Fast-Approaching Tax Season

Members of National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 92 stand outside the fed...

Photo by Steve Walsh

Above: Members of National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 92 stand outside the federal building, Jan. 21, 2019.

As the partial government shutdown stretches into its fifth week, the union that represents local IRS employees predicts there will be problems this tax filing season, which is set to start Jan. 28.

National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 92 in San Diego saw all of its 211 members furloughed as part of the government shutdown.

The IRS will bring back some of the workers furloughed under the partial government shutdown. Those workers are now one month behind in their training to assist filers with navigating the new tax laws, said Malcolm Gettmann, president of the local chapter.

Though the staff is being recalled, they will continue to not be paid during the government shutdown. IRS workers will miss their second pay check Wednesday, Gettmann said.

“I would say (it's) a slow moving train wreck, but I think it is moving much faster. I think it’s going to a huge train wreck. I’m hoping it goes smoothly but there’s just not the resources there,” he said.

Taxpayers will be able to file returns starting next week. IRS workers are not expected to be available if someone needs to make a payment or arrange a payment schedule, Gettmann said. No one has been in the office to approve new applications for tax exempt status.

Audits have also been suspended, Gettmann said.

Marilyn Montgomery has been a revenue officer at the IRS since 2009. She said she has had to borrow money from family and friends. She’s also negotiating with creditors, who so far have been patient.

“I’ve been very fortunate, I don’t have a lot of debt. But the debt I do have, yep, they want their money,” she said.

The union representing local U.S. Treasury Department workers saw its 211 members furloughed as part of the government shutdown.

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Steve Walsh
Military Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover military and veterans issues for KPBS and American Homefront, a partnership of public radio stations and NPR. I cover issues ranging from delpoying troops along the California border to efforts to lower suicide rates among veterans.

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