May 15,2007

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Grassley Seeks Less IRS Union Activity on Taxpayers’ Dime

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, today urged the Treasury secretary to curb IRS employees’ union activity on the taxpayers’ dime, citing information that IRS employees spend more time on union activity than their counterparts at other federal agencies.

“According to the IRS, employees who could be collecting due and owed taxes are instead working on union business,” Grassley said. “For 2006 alone, those employees could have brought in $211 million that is owed, and possibly more. Right now, I won’t get into the question of whether it’s appropriate to have union activity conducted on the taxpayers’ dime. But at the very least, the IRS’ union activity should be on par with other agencies’. If we’re serious about closing the tax gap, we need to make sure the IRS is using all of its personnel effectively.”

The text of Grassley’s letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson follows here. The text of former IRS Commissioner Mark Everson’s letter on union activity is attached.