The IRS is considering its own temporary shutdown due to recent budget cuts enacted by Congress, its chief said Thursday.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said furloughs — forced unpaid days off for employees as part of an IRS closure — is one idea reluctantly being tossed about to save money, though they are hoping they will not have to go there.
“There is no way we can say right now that that won’t happen,” Koskinen told reporters at a press conference on the upcoming tax season. “Again, I would stress that would be the last option.”
He said a one-day closure would save an estimated $29 million.
The news comes a day after Koskinen warned IRS employees that overtime would be suspended and a hiring freeze enacted.
Koskinen took over the agency after it faced big criticism following the controversy over added scrutiny given to tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status. Republicans, never a fan of the IRS, have sought to cut its budget further ever since.
In the recent budget deal, Congress cut the IRS budget by $ 346 million to $10.9 billion, making it nearly a billion down from several years back.