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Information for IRS Employees About Outside Employment

While on furlough, an individual remains an employee of the federal government. Therefore, existing executive branch-wide and IRS standards of ethical conduct and rules regarding outside employment continue to apply when an individual is furloughed. In addition, there are specific statutes which prohibit certain outside activities and agency-specific supplemental rules that require prior approval of, and sometimes prohibit, outside employment.

For more information on executive branch standards of ethical conduct, you may visit the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

During this lapse in appropriations, IRS employees do not need to receive approval before engaging in non-prohibited outside activities. Upon returning to active duty status, employees should submit Form 7995, Outside Employment and Business Activity Request, to their supervisor for any outside activities that typically requires prior approval. IRS employees are prohibited from participating in the following outside activities:

  • Performing legal services involving federal, state or local tax matters.
  • Appearing or acting as an attorney or agent on behalf of any taxpayer before any federal, state or local governmental agency in an action involving a tax matter, except with the written authorization of the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Engaging in accounting or the use, analysis and interpretation of financial records when such activity involves tax matters
  • Engaging in bookkeeping, recording of transactions or the record-making phase of accounting when such activity is directly related to a tax determination.
  • Preparing tax returns for compensation, gift or favor.
  • Acting as an agent or attorney for anyone in a claim against the United States or in a matter in which the United States is a party or has a direct or substantial interest, before any department, agency, or court, unless permitted by an exception found in 18 USC 205. You are also prohibited from accepting or seeking compensation for any representational services, whether performed by you or someone else, in relation to a matter in which the United States is a party or has a direct and substantial interest, unless permitted by an exception found in 18 USC 203.


Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 29-Oct-2013