Who Gets Rewarded for Stiffing the IRS? IRS Agents!

IRSJoshua DoubekIf you and I pay the Internal Revenue Service less than it claims it owes us, we can get slammed pretty hard with fines, penalties, and even jail time. The IRS even stages armed raids in its search for a few more sheckels to feed the government's appetite. We even can get dinged $5,000 for filing "frivolous" returns that just annoy the tax collectors.

But there is one class of people that can misbehave and even stiff the IRS, and receive rewards in return. Who has that sweet deal? IRS employees.

According to a press release from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration:

between October 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012, more than 2,800 employees with recent substantiated conduct issues resulting in disciplinary action received more than $2.8 million in monetary awards and more than 27,000 hours in time-off awards. Among these, more than 1,100 IRS employees with substantiated Federal tax compliance problems received more than $1 million in cash awards and more than 10,000 hours in time-off awards.

Whoops!

Among the most serious misconduct the full report revealed among employees who were later awarded was "late payment and/or nonpayment of Federal taxes, Government travel card misuse or delinquency, Section 1203(b) violations, misconduct, and fraud issues."

Section 1203(b) violations include assaults on, harassment of, and retaliation against taxpayers, if you're curious.

To put this in context, the full report notes that for 2011, the IRS awarded almost $92 million in cash and almost 520,000 hours of time off to 70,500 of its approximately 104,400 employees. So there are plenty of goodies to go around, and they're not all going to malefactors, as the tax agency defines them. But still, to be a tax collector who skates along on the company credit card, abuses taxpayers, and holds back on your own taxes while getting a pat on the back and a bonus has to be a pretty sweet deal.

The inspector general's office urged the IRS to consider requiring management to take into account conduct issues resulting in disciplinary actions, especially the nonpayment of taxes, prior to awarding all types of performance and discretionary awards.

They'll get right on that. Right after they finishing scrutinizing your tax return for clerical errors.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Jam||

    Last year i didn't file, got the letter (they sent to my parents address where i haven't lived in 15 years), filed and paid withholding difference of ~$3k.

    this year i filed but didn't pay the withholding difference. what more can you do...

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    1,100 IRS employees with substantiated Federal tax compliance problems received more than $1 million in cash awards

    So reading that was rage inducing.

  • ||

    Section 1203(b) violations include assaults on, harassment of, and retaliation against taxpayers, if you're curious.

    And nothing else happened.

  • BSubversive.com||

    Well, they did get bonuses. So something did actually... happen.

  • Brian D||

    NOTHING LEFT TO CUT!

  • Swiss Servator, Käse, Käse!||

    These people are doing God's work in some of the toughest cubicles in America!

    /Derp

  • ||

    It's only normal progderps support the IRS since they collect and steal the money needed for their grandiose economic and social schemes.

    It's a natural alliance of faccia di culo.

  • JD the elder||

    Speaking of "God's work" reminds me of my favorite Bible chapter, particularly this bit:

    “This is how the king will rule over you,” Samuel said: ...
    He will take your best fields, vineyards, and olive groves and give them to his servants. He will give one-tenth of your grain and your vineyards to his officials and servants.
    ...
    He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and then you yourselves will become his slaves! When that day comes, you will cry out because of the king you chose for yourselves, but on that day the Lord won’t answer you.”

    Prescient guy, that Samuel. Except that I wish I could get away with a tax bill of only ten percent.

  • Loki||

    Rules are for peasants to follow. The King's men may do as they please.

  • datcv||

    This sentence from the press release was choice:

    "TIGTA recommended that the IRS Human Capital Officer determine the feasibility of implementing a policy requiring management to consider conduct issues resulting in disciplinary actions, especially the nonpayment of taxes, prior to awarding all types of performance and discretionary awards."

    We need to DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY of IMPLEMENTING A POLICY requiring management to CONSIDER CONDUCT ISSUES. Much passive voice, wow.

    I also enjoy how the press release and report are showing how perverse and fucked up it is to give awards to shitty employees but then title the press release "AWARDS PROGRAM IS COMPLIANT WITH FEDERAL GUIDELINES". No laws were broken, nothing to see here, move along folks.

  • Adam330||

    I'm not sure you know what passive voice means....

  • datcv||

    Fine, indirect voice. Whatever.

    How about
    "TIGTA recommends that the IRS Human Capital Officer change their policy to consider conduct issues prior to awarding all bonuses."

    I realize that this changes the meaning of what they said, but that's because what they said was pointless bullshit.

  • Agammamon||

    Look guys, its no big deal - just professional courtesy.

    Like how cops get to speed and talk on the cellphone and run red-lights and murder people. You cut a break for your coloeagues and they do the same for you.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The inspector general's office urged the IRS to consider requiring management to take into account conduct issues resulting in disciplinary actions, especially the nonpayment of taxes, prior to awarding all types of performance and discretionary awards.

    Basing bonuses on job performance and compliance with the very laws they are tasked with enforcing would be a clear and gratuitous violation of those employees' due process rights as defined in the collective bargaining agreement.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement