The IRS processing center in Fresno at Butler and Peach avenues is closing. Image via Google Earth
Written by Frank Lopez
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) branch in Southeast Fresno has laid off hundreds of employees as it prepares to close.
The closure of the IRS branch at Butler and Peach avenues is part of a plan announced several years ago to consolidate processing centers across the country.
In 2016. the IRS announced that it had plans to close processing sites around the country, including the Fresno location.
On June 25, 800 people were laid off from their positions at the Fresno location. More are expected.
According to a report from the Department of the Treasury from March 2020, with “the continued decreases in paper-filed tax returns, IRS management determined that they could further consolidate tax return processing sites from five to two Tax Processing Centers by the end of Fiscal Year 2024.”
The Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board was contacted by the IRS around two years ago about the closure and to help employees find a new job.
In an interview posted on the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board Facebook page, John Lorance, government sector and rapid response coordinator for the board, said they are keeping touch with employees as the branch closes.
“We’ve touched based with a lot of the employees, and a lot of them are trying to figure out what they want to do on their next stage, Lorance said. “We are going to help them figure out a plan.”
Raphael Tulino, IRS media relations, said that the building is planned to be vacated by Sept. 25.
Tulino said that all of the 800 employees laid off on June 25 were on temporary appointments, which may not last longer than five years. Other employees on career appointments have staggered released dates.
In 2010 the southeast Fresno IRS branch processed 15.6 million 1040 form tax returns with that number dropping to 6.4 million in 2019 as more tax returns were being done electronically.
Though no numbers are available for the IRS processing center in Fresno, workers are receiving assistance for continued employment.
“Efforts are ongoing to provide positions for those who wish to have continued employment,” Trulino said. “Numbers are not yet available but employees are eligible to apply for vacant positions in another location and may also apply for vacant positions that will continue in Fresno. The IRS will continue certain operations in Fresno and we expect to remain a major employer in the area.”