With tax season in full swing, IRS workers in Hawaii scramble to catch up

With tax season in full swing, IRS workers in Hawaii scramble to catch up

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii’s 83 Internal Revenue Service employees are now feeling some financial relief after the 35-day government shutdown.

The head of the union that represents most of them said he received his back pay on Wednesday.

Everyone should be paid no later than Thursday, according to John Johnson, president of the local chapter of the National Treasury Employees Union.

"There was a lot of anxiety. Many people applied for unemployment," he said. "People couldn't pay for childcare."

Thousands of IRS employees returned to their offices this week with a lot of work waiting for them.

“A lot of voicemails, emails so at least half the day I’d say would be just catching up on correspondence and things like that,” said Johnson.

The IRS started accepting federal tax returns on Monday, but the work being done in Hawaii is different from the mainland.

“We’re not processing returns. We are doing audits. We’re doing collections and then there’s customer service. There’s criminal investigation,” said Johnson.

Johnson hadn’t heard of any Hawaii workers resigning, but the employees are all anxiously waiting to see if the government can strike a deal before the Feb. 15 deadline.

“We’re not all super happy because we’re all sort of dreading that we’re going to go out on furlough again,” he said.

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