Fact Check: IRS DOES Have Plan In Case Of Nuclear Bomb Explosion

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: IRS DOES Have Plan In Case Of Nuclear Bomb Explosion Fact Check: IRS DOES Have Plan In Case Of Nuclear Bomb Explosion Post-Nuke Plan

Does the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have a plan in place to instruct employees on how to proceed after a disaster such as a nuclear bomb explosion? Yes, it does: Like other executive government departments and agencies, the IRS is required to detail its guidelines for continuity operations.

The claim was implied in a Facebook post reposted from TikTok on December 13, 2021. The narrator of the video says:

Did you know the IRS has a plan in its employee handbook on how to collect taxes after a nuclear bomb. According to the manual, it would start collecting taxes from people 30 days after the attack.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Dec 16 22:47 2021 UTC)

This fact check only focuses on whether there is a plan in place for IRS employees following a nuclear disaster, not the details of that plan.

According to a 1989 report from The Associated Press, the IRS published a section in its Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), written for its employees, titled "National Emergency Operations." The section was added to the manual following a mandate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

While the version of the manual published at the time of writing does not appear to have a specific "National Emergency Operations" section detailing how taxpayers will pay their taxes after a disaster, the IRM does discuss its continuity operations. "Continuity Operations" is found in part 10, chapter six of the manual. The first part of section one in the chapter states:

(1) Continuity planning includes IRS activities and efforts to document and ensure that the IRS is capable of continuing its Mission Essential Functions (MEFs) and Essential Supporting Activities (ESAs) during a wide range of potential emergencies.
(2) The IRS continuity plans and supporting procedures, when implemented, will provide for the continued performance of IRS essential and other functions under all circumstances.
(3) This manual provides policies and guidance to be used by IRS organizations to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities in continuity planning. It provides guidance for developing viable and executable continuity plans and procedures.
(4) These provisions apply to all Business Units (BUs) within the IRS.

According to FEMA, continuity operations planning for departments and agencies is a must:

Federal Departments and Agencies (D/As) must continuously maintain the capability and capacity to perform essential functions and services, without time delay, regardless of threats or conditions, and with the understanding that adequate warning of a threat may not be available.

More information about FEMA's National Continuity Programs can be found here.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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