Fewer than half of 26,000 furloughed IRS employees who have been recalled to work during the government shutdown to handle tax returns and taxpayers’ questions have returned to their jobs as of Tuesday, congressional and government aides say.
The official start of the tax filing season is Monday, and the Trump administration had said that taxpayers owed refunds would receive them on time. But about 14,000 recalled employees haven’t reported to work, IRS officials told House committee staffers Thursday. Around 5,000 of them have sought permission under their union contract to be absent because of financial hardship. The remaining 9,000 couldn’t be reached by IRS managers.
The administration had planned to eventually send about 46,000 furloughed IRS employees back to work — nearly 60 percent of the IRS workforce.