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Ogden IRS site one of two nationwide to survive closures

By Cathy Mckitrick, Standard-Examiner Staff - | Sep 14, 2016

OGDEN -- By 2024, the Internal Revenue Service will phase out and close three of its five sites nationwide that process paper tax returns. Ogden's IRS facility is one of two that survived the cuts.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen released a statement Wednesday detailing the agency's financial need to downsize where it can.

"As you may know, we have been working to use our limited resources as efficiently as possible through such things as real estate consolidation. For more than a decade, we've been working on consolidating our Submission Processing operations across the country as electronic filing continues to grow and fewer taxpayers file paper tax returns," Koskinen said.

Those consolidation efforts began in 2003 before Koskinen's tenure with the agency, when 10 processing sites merged into five.

After reviewing key factors that included employee impact, cost savings, leases and building condition, Koskinen said the agency decided to terminate submission processing operations in Covington, Kentucky, after the 2019 tax-filing season, Fresno, California, after the 2021 filing season, and Austin, Texas, in 2024?.

The Ogden, Utah, and Kansas City, Missouri, processing sites were selected to continue their operations, with Ogden's focus to be on business filings and Kansas City handling paper 1040 filings from individual taxpayers.

The Covington site employs about 1,800 employees, Fresno about 3,000 and Austin about 2,400. Those jobs  would phase out between 2019 and 2024. 

"This is distressing news for our members, many of whom have been loyal IRS employees for years," National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon said in a statement Wednesday, pledging to "aggressively pursue all available measures to avoid or mitigate the impact of these closings on affected employees in these three locations."

Even though the Ogden site survived this round of closures, its workforce has been impacted by federal budget cuts. 

"Between 2011 and 2016, we've lost nearly 1,400 employees in Ogden." Koskinen said, noting the agency's budget had been trimmed by $900 million since 2010. "These budget reductions continue to be a major challenge throughout the country for the IRS and a source of continuing concern."

Contact reporter Cathy McKitrick at 801-625-4214 or cmckitrick@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @catmck.  

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