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Internal Revenue Service

As a bureau of the Department of the Treasury and as one of the world's most efficient tax administrators, the IRS role is to help the large majority of compliant taxpayers with the tax law, while ensuring that the minority who are unwilling to comply pay their fair share. (Source: www.irs.gov)

This forum will allow you to share and ask job-related questions about this bureau. This is NOT the place to ask tax questions.

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meinhoonna  
#1 Posted : Monday, April 6, 2020 10:22:55 AM(UTC)

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Since all of the locations were closed to the majority of the employees, a lot of local governments are heading towards reopening for business. If I understand, the one-day in office policy was for 30 days so did anyone hear if that would be extended - would not be extended if campus reopens.
Irs_newb  
#2 Posted : Monday, April 6, 2020 12:09:45 PM(UTC)
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There were some replies in another post here (I forget which one), where they have received re-opening dates...both around the end of April. I'm in Fresno and no word yet.
Payla1112  
#3 Posted : Thursday, April 9, 2020 1:59:27 PM(UTC)
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Per local union when asked when they (irs) anticipate employees returning to the office, "currently, there is no set date or even discussions of dates of return. Regardless of when return date the plan will continue to follow Cdc guidelines related to the pandemic as that will likely be in place for a while. That plan includes allowing AM phone assistors to continue to operate in a telework environment which will allow for greater social distancing in the workplace."
Bialy  
#4 Posted : Thursday, April 9, 2020 5:24:43 PM(UTC)
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On IRS.GOV today, news article IR-2020-68, April 9, 2020 addresses several items possibly relevant to a time frame for re-opening. Some items are included here:

"IRS phone lines supported by customer service representatives for both taxpayers and tax professionals are not staffed at this time.
Due to staff limitations the Practitioner Priority Service line is temporarily closed until further notice.
The IRS is unable to process Centralized Authorization File (CAF) requests at this time.
The Get Transcript by Mail option should not be used to order transcripts since the offices that print and mail the transcripts are closed.
Correspondence sent to IRS offices may be returned to the taxpayer if that office is closed and no one is available to accept them.
The Philadelphia Accounts Management Campus is currently closed. Processing of the US Residency Certification Program is temporarily suspended.
Taxpayer Protection Program: If you received correspondence from the IRS asking if you filed a suspicious tax return, you may use the online Identity Verification Service to validate your identity. Because the IRS cannot take calls or appointments right now, this is the only present option."

If there are plans to open anytime in the near future, would they be putting this news out today?? I think not. And I'm wondering who's teleworking??

Edited by user Thursday, April 9, 2020 5:25:55 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

cutiepie5  
#5 Posted : Thursday, April 9, 2020 8:37:05 PM(UTC)
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I’m teleworking and so is my entire team. But we’re IT and most IT people are teleworking anyway to ensure the continuation of tax season and to make sure systems are running for the disbursement of the stimulus payments. A few other IT people have very critical jobs that require that they are in the building to maintain servers, etc. so there’s that.

There are managers in Accounts Management that are teleworking and people in Collections were called in and picked up their laptops from their desks last week. A few of my friends who work in Accounts Management received calls from their managers discussing the directive email that was sent out week before last. They mainly just read them the email and asked them questions regarding their internet connections, internet speed, etc. Asked them if they have a secure location to work from in their homes and told them they would be receiving followup calls about coming in to pick up laptops and shown how to connect ERAP. Some were called last week, others this week. Just general calls but they haven’t received specific dates to come in yet. Some other areas of SBSE are still working like COIC and I know people in Appeals who are teleworking.

So yes...there are people teleworking and many more soon will be. They are considering this outbreak to be very long term. We were told to expect to telework until the end of the year.
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512student on 4/10/2020(UTC)
dmellow  
#6 Posted : Friday, April 10, 2020 5:19:15 AM(UTC)

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I have no intention of going back to work until I get tested for the virus and know that it’s happening all around me. What am I going to do, talk to taxpayers with my headset and mask on? I got a robo call from my federal building saying someone on one of the floors has tested positive for the virus. They were trying to reassure me they had it “under control”. They were closing the whole floor and disinfecting common areas, etc. For one, I didn’t know the building had opened back up and that employees were working there. I’m sure if there are workers, it’s very thin throughout the building. For two, are they going to shut down a floor every time someone has tested positive for the virus? Where would those employees go? It would be a ripple effect throughout the building.

The agency probably is at a lost of what to do. A lot of the governors are putting out their own stay at home restrictions. We have always been “essential” during the filing season. Our buildings and offices are not set up for social distancing with the volume of people moving around. Setting up telework for the masses of IRS employees is a daunting task. Finding laptops for everyone will be a challenge since companies across the country are trying to set up the same thing. Will employees have a home environment to take care of children, parents and work? If you don’t have a computer set up in your house, who pays for the installation and how quickly can that be done by the phone company?

These are not normal times. We are going to have to piece together a way to get back to work. Realistically, I think it will be several weeks before we have an infrastructure set up to do that.
meinhoonna  
#7 Posted : Friday, April 10, 2020 12:10:17 PM(UTC)

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I work in IT too but no specifics on when we will be called back especially since the building reported a positive case. At least cutiepie5 has been made aware of the plans.
512student  
#8 Posted : Friday, April 10, 2020 3:09:52 PM(UTC)

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CSR in Austin. I was just asked if I would volunteer to start working from the Submission Processing Building beginning next Monday (rather than my regular office). I was offered Hazard pay (25%). Gloves and masks are being provided. I politely declined.

Edited by user Friday, April 10, 2020 3:11:33 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

federalgovtjobseeker  
#9 Posted : Friday, April 10, 2020 4:46:38 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Bialy Go to Quoted Post
On IRS.GOV today, news article IR-2020-68, April 9, 2020 addresses several items possibly relevant to a time frame for re-opening. Some items are included here:

"IRS phone lines supported by customer service representatives for both taxpayers and tax professionals are not staffed at this time.
Due to staff limitations the Practitioner Priority Service line is temporarily closed until further notice.
The IRS is unable to process Centralized Authorization File (CAF) requests at this time.
The Get Transcript by Mail option should not be used to order transcripts since the offices that print and mail the transcripts are closed.
Correspondence sent to IRS offices may be returned to the taxpayer if that office is closed and no one is available to accept them.
The Philadelphia Accounts Management Campus is currently closed. Processing of the US Residency Certification Program is temporarily suspended.
Taxpayer Protection Program: If you received correspondence from the IRS asking if you filed a suspicious tax return, you may use the online Identity Verification Service to validate your identity. Because the IRS cannot take calls or appointments right now, this is the only present option."

If there are plans to open anytime in the near future, would they be putting this news out today?? I think not. And I'm wondering who's teleworking??


Anyone whose job is "telework eligible" even if you are not done with your probationary period is suppose to be teleworking. Field offices for example.

Edited by user Friday, April 10, 2020 4:47:38 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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cutiepie5 on 4/10/2020(UTC)
cutiepie5  
#10 Posted : Friday, April 10, 2020 10:00:14 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: meinhoonna Go to Quoted Post
I work in IT too but no specifics on when we will be called back especially since the building reported a positive case. At least cutiepie5 has been made aware of the plans.



Not just me. Are you teleworking? If so, everyone in IT was supposed to attend one of the two virtual townhall meetings held on March 30th and April 2nd that were conducted by the Chief Information Officer over all of IT, Nancy Sieger. In those town halls, and the emails everyone in IT received, they laid out the plans to get almost every telework eligible employee in every area set up for telework, in addition to what they have already done which is increased network capacity from one that could handle 44,000 employees to one that can now accommodate well over 100,000.

They will be having additional meetings to update everyone on progress and plans (for everyone in IT who is teleworking) and the next two are scheduled for April 14th and 16th respectively.

Edited by user Friday, April 10, 2020 10:02:06 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

meinhoonna  
#11 Posted : Saturday, April 11, 2020 10:51:10 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: cutiepie5 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: meinhoonna Go to Quoted Post
I work in IT too but no specifics on when we will be called back especially since the building reported a positive case. At least cutiepie5 has been made aware of the plans.



Not just me. Are you teleworking? If so, everyone in IT was supposed to attend one of the two virtual townhall meetings held on March 30th and April 2nd that were conducted by the Chief Information Officer over all of IT, Nancy Sieger. In those town halls, and the emails everyone in IT received, they laid out the plans to get almost every telework eligible employee in every area set up for telework, in addition to what they have already done which is increased network capacity from one that could handle 44,000 employees to one that can now accommodate well over 100,000.

They will be having additional meetings to update everyone on progress and plans (for everyone in IT who is teleworking) and the next two are scheduled for April 14th and 16th respectively.



I am currently teleworking and it is coming to an end based on the initial 30-day approval. I attended both those sessions as well. I don't have any acknowledgment from management on how long to continue teleworking. I am in a unique situation as my POD is in a different state from my family and was eventually considering a move there. If they don't approve of my telework, I would have to report to the office. I was just hoping another 30 or 45-day policy so I don't have to keep on planning on going back every week.
federalgovtjobseeker  
#12 Posted : Saturday, April 11, 2020 1:51:34 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: meinhoonna Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: cutiepie5 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: meinhoonna Go to Quoted Post
I work in IT too but no specifics on when we will be called back especially since the building reported a positive case. At least cutiepie5 has been made aware of the plans.



Not just me. Are you teleworking? If so, everyone in IT was supposed to attend one of the two virtual townhall meetings held on March 30th and April 2nd that were conducted by the Chief Information Officer over all of IT, Nancy Sieger. In those town halls, and the emails everyone in IT received, they laid out the plans to get almost every telework eligible employee in every area set up for telework, in addition to what they have already done which is increased network capacity from one that could handle 44,000 employees to one that can now accommodate well over 100,000.

They will be having additional meetings to update everyone on progress and plans (for everyone in IT who is teleworking) and the next two are scheduled for April 14th and 16th respectively.



I am currently teleworking and it is coming to an end based on the initial 30-day approval. I attended both those sessions as well. I don't have any acknowledgment from management on how long to continue teleworking. I am in a unique situation as my POD is in a different state from my family and was eventually considering a move there. If they don't approve of my telework, I would have to report to the office. I was just hoping another 30 or 45-day policy so I don't have to keep on planning on going back every week.


The IRS is now under an evacuation order and under 5 CFR 550 subpart D, you do not need a telework agreement to work from home if your's is about to expire. All you need to have to work from home is a direction from management to work from home.
512student  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, April 14, 2020 1:01:23 PM(UTC)

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I was told to expect a call tomorrow, as they are collecting information to get telework ready. CSR, Austin.
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Ez7319 on 4/19/2020(UTC)
512student  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, April 15, 2020 6:21:47 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: 512student Go to Quoted Post
I was told to expect a call tomorrow, as they are collecting information to get telework ready. CSR, Austin.



Update:

The call was for intake information only. Basically, are you willing and able to telework.

Are you willing to telework? Do you have a telework agreement in place? Do you have a laptop assigned to you? High speed internet? Do you have a secure location to work? Are you willing to come pick up a laptop from the office? Would you be willing to take the telework ELMS course in the office with social distancing or prefer to take it online.?


No anticipated start date provided.
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Payla1112 on 4/15/2020(UTC)
Bialy  
#15 Posted : Thursday, April 16, 2020 8:09:42 AM(UTC)
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Is telework mandatory or on a volunteer basis? If you don't want to telework, is there a Plan B - are you still getting paid or do you then have to come in to the office to work?
If this is all on a volunteer basis, why would I volunteer if some of my co-workers could be sitting at home getting the same pay for doing nothing? What am I missing here?
Is the agency going to pay for part of our internet since we are now using it for work? Are our calls still going to be graded by CER? Is this a wireless setup, can we still transfer calls
if needed, etc. Does anyone have more details as to how this is supposed to work?
kitkatma  
#16 Posted : Thursday, April 16, 2020 9:26:18 AM(UTC)
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Can they force you to telework, short answer is no. They can not force you to purchase high speed internet for telework. But then you would probably be required to report for duty. Most in SP cannot telework since they actually process the paper returns. I think that those of us that can telework should especially those of us that work in the campuses with SP sites. I work in the Kansas City Campus and we are a SP site. I am in AM so I don't have to touch paper returns. Those co-workers in SP will not be able to stay home much longer, tax returns still have to be processed.

I am waiting for my call to get my laptop for telework. My internet bill won't change regardless if I telework or not. However, the wear and tear on my car and the expenses associated with that will go down if I telework, so there is that. And I feel that maybe I can help my SP co-workers stay a fraction safer by teleworking.

Daniel25  
#17 Posted : Thursday, April 16, 2020 10:23:26 AM(UTC)
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I remember last year, CSR's from Cleveland's callsite were told that we would be years away from getting telework (if ever). Before COVID, there seemed to be a lot of apathy towards telework, but now everything is changing. We are starting to receive the preliminary "survey" call regarding telework. Hopefully we can go in to pick up our equipment soon. Going into the office is not safe with the tight spaces and closed airflow. I am definitely volunteering for telework as soon as it's available. I've been waiting a while and it's unfortunate that it took a global pandemic to finally speed up the process of implementing telework for CSRs.
Payla1112  
#18 Posted : Thursday, April 16, 2020 11:28:28 AM(UTC)
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Per local union on call with irs yesterday wi

"discussions on reopening campuses and call sites are underway, but as of yesterday they did not have anything specific to share. They said once decisions are made to reopen sites ot will most likely start with campus locations, followed by large call sites and eventually tacs."

Hopefully they continue to expand telework for am...they stated all acs have computers and the ones who can telework are.
ironman0786  
#19 Posted : Saturday, April 18, 2020 1:53:13 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: Payla1112 Go to Quoted Post
Per local union on call with irs yesterday wi

"discussions on reopening campuses and call sites are underway, but as of yesterday they did not have anything specific to share. They said once decisions are made to reopen sites ot will most likely start with campus locations, followed by large call sites and eventually tacs."

Hopefully they continue to expand telework for am...they stated all acs have computers and the ones who can telework are.



reopen to work from campus or so that we can come to get our laptops?




anyone hear anything for different departments? Exam, AUR, Collections, AM, Exam field support?

I heard a few employees received a shipment of a laptop at their home. But no info or heads up of the shipment.

Edited by user Saturday, April 18, 2020 1:55:45 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Ez7319  
#20 Posted : Saturday, April 18, 2020 5:24:35 AM(UTC)
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Some employees in Exam are working from home with lap tops. There is an issue with sending out notices and letters currently so some areas cannot work from home yet. I have heard that some of ACS is working from home and that AUR has not been issued lap tops yet because letters and notices cannot be sent out. Have heard around half of AM has been given lap tops because they have been deemed essential and are needed to get refunds out.
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