The Internal Revenue Service will be closed Friday because of sequestration, the agency said in a press release.

The agency, which has been the center of a political firestorm surrounding its targeting of conservative political groups, will shutter offices across the nation, including nearly 400 taxpayer assistance centers and the agency headquarters in Washington. IRS employees will be furloughed without pay.

Friday was the first of five days the agency is expected to close because of sequestration — it will also cease operations on June 14, July 5, July 22 and Aug. 30.

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