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IRS responds to budget cuts by cutting back service on certain days

The impact of some types of budget cuts is more immediately evident than others. Consider, for example, the difference between two important federal agencies: the FAA and the IRS.

The former is responsible for airline safety; the latter for tax collection and enforcement Like all federal agencies, both the FAA and the IRS are feeling the effects of the across-the-board federal budget cuts mandated by a Congressional procedure called by a rather arcane name: the sequester.

In Texas and across the nation, the impact of FAA cuts has prompted an outcry. This is because the FAA cuts have furloughed many air traffic controllers. And with fewer controllers on duty, planes are not able to take off and land as quickly. This has caused flight delays that have aggravated many people.

Responding to popular pressure, Congress is trying to get an urgent bill passed to grant the FAA more budgetary flexibility. The goal is to avoid furloughs of controllers and reduce flight delays.

But what about the effect of budget cuts on the IRS?

The IRS is also trying to respond to the cuts. The agency has announced that on several days this summer, its telephone services for taxpayers and its in-person assistance centers will be close. The dates announced so far are:

· May 24

· June 14

· July 5

· July 22

· August 30

There may also be two more days announced later this summer.

The IRS is a large agency with about 90,000 employees. But each of those employees - including the acting commissioner - must take at least five days of leave without pay in the next few months.

Source: "U.S. IRS sets come closure days due to budget cuts," CNBC / Reuters, 4-19-13

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