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IRS to consolidate regional and district offices.

The Internal Revenue Service will reduce the number of regional offices from seven to four on October 1, 1995, and cut the number of district headquarters from 63 to 33 by September 30, 1996. The IRS said it is consolidating to reduce executive, managerial and support positions. This is the service's first major field office reorganization since,1952.

Frank Keith, spokesperson at the IRS in Washington, D.C., told the journal that the service "does not anticipate these changes will have any direct impact on taxpayers or the CPAS that represent them. Not one of the IRS offices is closing; we are just merging districts. That is, the offices will still be there, in the same buildings, but they will be reclassified. The changes are primarily in the form of consolidating the top-level management positions. The number of employees in first- and second-level management positions in most of the locations will not change." Keith said that a CPA who visits a district office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or Little Rock, Arkansas, for example, to get a tax form, discuss a payment agreement or submit an offer-in-compromise will continue to do so in that same district office. These changes, as far as most CPAs and other taxpayers are concerned, are on paper only.

This consolidation is the latest in a series of IRS reorganizations that coincide with federal initiatives to "reinvent government." Some of the other IRS consolidations include

* Reducing 12 computing centers for data processing and electronic returns to 3.

* Reducing the 10 submission processing operations for paper returns to 5.

* Reducing customer service phone operations for account-related matters from as many as 40 locations to as few as 23.

Keith said the regional and district management consolidation could conservatively affect between 600 and 900 employees. The IRS expects to offer employees affected by the changes opportunities for other positions, and is working with the National Treasury Employees Union to develop specific guidelines on redeployment and retraining policies.
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 1, 1995
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