The tax men cometh.
The Internal Revenue Service plans to add 452 auditors, agents and other staff to its Laguna Niguel regional office by Oct. 1, including 213 assigned specifically to two offices in Orange County.
And as many as 400 more workers could be added to the regional office by the end of next year, bringing the total number of employees to almost 3,500, IRS officials said. For Orange County taxpayers--and evaders--the hirings will mean better service, in more ways than one. "We anticipate there will be more audits," mostly of businesses, said Ken Marquis, district recruitment coordinator for the Laguna Niguel IRS office located in the Ziggurat building.
The additions will increase the IRS' Orange County staff by 15% adding a total of 213 employees. Of the 2,500 IRS employees currently assigned to the five-county Laguna Niguel region, 1,400 are assigned to Orange County offices in Santa Ana and at the Laguna Niguel facility.
The hiring spree is largely the result of Orange County's growth, Marquis said. Recent changes in federal tax laws were another factor.
For Orange County, the employment blitz will mean 55 more auditors: 40 internal revenue agents, who audit more complex business and individual tax returns, and 15 tax auditors, who typically scrutinize simpler returns from individuals and smaller businesses.
Plans also call for the addition of 33 revenue officers, who collect overdue taxes and work out payment plans, and about 125 clerical staffers.
The additions are part of a much larger expansion plan by all nine offices of the IRS Laguna Niguel District, which includes facilities in San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties.
The Laguna Niguel District plans to add 239 employees in its seven other Southern California offices.
Of those, 121 will be agents, revenue officers and special agents for criminal investigations. Those categories pay starting salaries ranging from $14,822 to $35,000 per year.
The rest of the hirings will include 100 tax examiners to do initial tax reviews, seven contact representatives to answer questions from the public and 11 clerical staffers. Those jobs pay salaries ranging from $10,000 to $17,000 annually.