In carrying out the 2019 Taxpayer First Act, the IRS has said it will increase employee training—including standing up an “IRS University” to consolidate current training—as well as restructure to “better align operations with our mission, increase agency-wide collaboration, and deconstruct operational silos.”
Changes to training are designed to foster continuous learning throughout an employee’s career while focusing on taxpayer rights and “early, fair, and efficient resolution of taxpayer disputes,” it said. “The University will build on and unify our training and development communities and will feature four academies (taxpayer service, tax administration, information technology and operations management, and leadership) to organize training curricula around structured yet flexible career paths,” it said.
“Based on our research, we know that employees want to get the most out of their training. They respond well to experienced trainers who are confident in their field and adept in engaging in traditional and virtual classroom environments. IRS employees want training that is appropriately paced and allows time for practical application,” it said.
The restructuring will focus on increasing consistency across functions and services, reducing redundancies and better positioning the agency to counter cyber threats, it said.
The NTEU union, which represents most IRS employees, in general praised the implementation plan although adding that “We are concerned that the blueprint relies too heavily on electronic, non-interactive training platforms, which employees have found to be less effective, especially when dealing with complex tax subjects.”
The report estimated that compliance with the act—which includes numerous provisions regarding taxpayer rights, appeals, privacy and other matters—will cost $444 million over four years above the IRS baseline budget.