Executive Director Chad Hooper of the Professional Managers Association (PMA) – formed in 1981 by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Managers as a national membership association representing the interests of professional managers, management officials and non-bargaining unit employees in the federal government and within the IRS – released the following statement regarding the IRS’s decision to launch a comprehensive review of existing safety and security measures:
“PMA commends the IRS and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig for taking the safety and security of our employees seriously. The grossly exaggerated, misleading, and baseless claims made by lawmakers and right-wing extremists alike that the IRS is somehow assembling an army to attack taxpayers is not only inaccurate, but also dangerous. These individuals and groups ought to be ashamed,” Hooper began.
“We appreciate that the IRS is taking a data-driven approach and conducting a full risk assessment to ensure employees are safe in the workplace. No employee should feel unsafe in their office nor on their commute to and from work. It must be said, these steps are not hyperbolic and no step to ensure the safety of the workforce is too small,” Hooper continued.
“Unfortunately, IRS employees have long been targets for disgruntled extremists. False claims about government employees can lead to radical action by violent extremists—in 2010, an enraged taxpayer flew a plane into an IRS facility killing an IRS manager. As is, 40% of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) workload is investigating threats against IRS employees. Those pushing false and misleading statements about IRS employees should be aware of the reality of the IRS threat landscape and must recognize the real potential for their language to further radicalize extremists,” Hooper furthered. “Acknowledging the risks facing IRS employees, and all federal employees, PMA has long pushed Congress to provide civilian federal employee’s death benefits on par with their service to this nation. It is unfortunate that many agencies still fail to provide adequate death benefits for those killed in the line-of-duty. It should not take another attack like the one that resulted in the death of IRS manager Vernon Hunter for federal employees to get proper recognition. We once again call on Congress to pass S.3487 – Honoring Civil Servants Killed in the Line of Duty Act.”
“The facts are clear for anyone willing to listen. This Inflation Reduction Act funds technological improvements and hiring to improve taxpayer services, reduce hold times, deliver more personalized service, and yes, increase enforcement against those deliberately cheating the system and undermining revenue collection. It does not fund an IRS ‘army’. These claims are reckless and intolerable. We applaud the IRS for taking steps to protect the workforce while some seem committed to undermining our security,” Hooper explained.
For a charge and response counting key claims made against the IRS, click here.