As discussed in Part One, I, together with several other IRS executives, had the honor to work side by side with employees in the extraction mailroom at the IRS’s Kansas City campus. It was an illuminating experience, as I gained a different perspective and deep appreciation for their work. I not only observed firsthand what our mailroom employees do every day, but I had the privilege of being assigned to work with the Submission Processing clerks from Unit 31106.
In spending three days with Unit 31106 extraction mailroom clerks, I met many amazing employees and want to thank them for assisting me with the stamping and sorting of returns and correspondence and the candling of discarded envelopes. Throughout the IRS, there are subsets of employees – those beginning their employment, those in mid-career, and those returning to the workforce after retirement. The campus is not any different.
Although I cannot highlight in this blog all the dedicated employees I met in the mailroom, I want to recognize a few to provide a better understanding of their work and commitment to processing taxpayers’ returns.
These employees are just a few of the people I met during my recent trip to the Kansas City Campus. But these are not the only amazing examples. The building is filled with employees, leads, managers, and executives who work tirelessly on the annual filing season. I am only sorry I did not have the opportunity to spend more time with all the employees.
We are all painfully aware that the past few filing seasons have been extraordinarily difficult for employees, taxpayers, and tax professionals. As the National Taxpayer Advocate, my primary focus is on the impact these taxpayer service challenges have had – and are continuing to have – on taxpayers.
But getting caught up depends, first and foremost, on the work of frontline IRS employees. They have labored under difficult working conditions for the past two years, with antiquated technology, enormous pressure to work quickly, mandatory overtime, and far too little appreciation. I want them to know that I and others in leadership positions care and deeply appreciate their contributions to the IRS’s critical mission. And I want to personally thank them for their efforts.
To quote Commissioner Rettig, “IRS employees rock!”
So, the next time you meet an IRS employee, speak with a representative on the phone, or open a letter from the IRS, please remember that most employees are trying to make a positive impact on your lives despite working under difficult conditions.
With the additional funding Congress has provided for Taxpayer Services and technology improvements, I am hopeful the IRS can put the backlog behind us, improve service for all taxpayers, modernize its technology, and generally focus on creating a fair and equitable tax administration that benefits all taxpayers as we journey into the 21st century.
Stay tuned for Part Three of this Blog, coming soon.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the National Taxpayer Advocate. The National Taxpayer Advocate presents an independent taxpayer perspective that does not necessarily reflect the position of the IRS, the Treasury Department, or the Office of Management and Budget.