That is neither a typo nor exaggeration. In its recently released Strategic Plan 2022-2026, the IRS announced that 52,000 of its approximate 83,000 employees will be eligible for retirement over the next six years. A copy of the Strategic Plan is linked HERE.
This is problematic in two ways. First, the IRS wants to expand its workforce overall. It will be extremely challenging – especially in today’s labor market – for the IRS to hire enough people to both replace these retiring workers and also add to its overall personnel count. Second, there will be less seasoned IRS personnel to train new hires. The IRS will likely rely on “on-the-job” training, where the IRS shifts its training burden to tax practitioners representing taxpayers in audit. Ask any tax practitioner and they will tell you: veteran auditors focus quickly and develop discrete issues worth debating; green auditors embark on fishing expeditions that result in numerous adjustments on issues that are mostly meritless.
I’ll do my best to be patient with the IRS. They will need my patience. But it is taxpayers that will bear the brunt of this force, as audits become more resource-intensive and the need to seek review by IRS Appeals increases.
If you have any questions about this blog post or any other tax-related topic, feel free to contact me at (214) 749-2464 or firstname.lastname@example.org.