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IRS Agents Rented Million-Dollar Townhomes, Spent Hundreds of Nights in Luxury Hotels Last Year

Taxpayers paid for "excessive and inappropriate" lodging and travel costs, including for one employee who managed to travel 381 days of the year.

Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/NewscomKris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/NewscomTaxpayers paid for IRS employees to rent million-dollar townhomes and luxury apartments, and covered hundreds of nights at the Ritz Carlton and other five star hotels during 2015.

A Senate Finance Committee report on long-term IRS travel released Thursday found that the 27 agents who traveled for more than half the year cost taxpayers, on average, $1.4 million per person. More than half of the travel expenses logged by those employees were for visits to Washington, D.C., and many times the IRS paid for luxury lodgings that the committee called "excessive and inappropriate."

That description is probably an understatement.

Terry Milholland, the former chief technology officer for the IRS, spent 168 days during fiscal year 2015 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., costing taxpayers nearly $39,000. The hotel, located off H Street just blocks from the White House, boasts "spacious rooms that are cosmopolitan and sleek," featuring "infinite luxuries."

According to the Senate report, Milholland would routinely commute to Washington on Monday mornings and stay at the Grant Hyatt through Thursday, when he would turn to his home in Texas. Even though the Grand Hyatt is located within walking distance of the IRS Building and a Metro station, Milholland would take a taxi from the hotel to work every morning, running the meter for more than $1,500 during the year.

Another employee—who was not identified by name or position—shacked up at the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City, Virginia, and left taxpayers with a $43,000 tab. The same employee spent another $29,000 in the same year at other D.C. area hotels, because you can't spend every night at the Ritz Carlton, or else it will start seem less magical.

Not to be outdone by their colleagues, two of the employees highlighted in the report skipped the luxury hotels and opted instead to stay in luxury apartments. One of them rented a $1.07 million four-bedroom townhouse in Arlington, Virginia, for a year at a rate of more than $4,900 per month. The other split his or her time between Washington, D.C., and Chicago, renting luxury apartments in both cities, with the leases apparently overlapping. The employee's Washington, D.C., apartment cost taxpayers more than $3,100 per month for nine month, while the Chicago apartment cost more than $4,600 per month during an 11-month lease.

One employee—Employee 16 in the committee's report—submitted an incredible 381 days' worth of travel reimbursements during 2015, a year that, like most, contained only 365 days. The employee "may have filed multiple vouchers covering the same period of time, which would result in the number of days in travel status exceeding 365," the report notes.

"The IRS has routinely failed to take allowable steps to reduce its travel expenditures," said U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, in a statement. "The lack of effort by IRS employees to exercise prudence and economy when utilizing taxpayer funds is concerning, and more importantly, a direct apparent violation of [federal travel regulations]"

The IRS did not return requests for comment.

More than half of all travel by IRS employees brought them to Washington, D.C., with Atlanta (and Glynco, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb) accounting for the second (and third) most travel. Chicago and New York City were other popular destinations.

Federal employees traveling to Washington, D.C., for a month can spend as much as $7,000 on lodging alone, the committee found. At that point, one must wonder why the IRS is not buying those frequent visitors their own homes or apartments in the D.C. area, rather than filling up hotels.

There are "virtually no circumstances" where an employee would need to spend $7,000 per month on rent, the committee notes.

The Treasury's Office of the Inspector General found similar problems with IRS employees abusing travel expense in a 2013 audit, the Senate Finance Committee report notes, but no changes were made to improve the situation.

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  • tarran||

  • ||

    I wonder how many lives these shithead parasitical employees ruined while they lived it up.

  • Rhywun||

    +1 red Swingline

  • GILMORE™||

    I think Nardwar's interview with Bushwick Bill is one of the more interesting conversations about hiphop in 2016*

    *and there have been a few.

    that dude *(the canadian with the goofy hat) actually knows his shit.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    https://youtu.be/6IJCFc_qkHw

    You can't link to the radio edit. I guarantee you the IRS agents are saying the n word when they sing along.

  • ||

    Motherfuckers.

  • كبير الهراء, Jr.||

    One employee—Employee 16 in the committee's report—submitted an incredible 381 days' worth of travel reimbursements during 2015, a year that, like most, contained only 365 days.

    But that employee might well go on to be the most-traveled secretary of state ever!

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Promote this hardworking employee NOW !!!! - IRS

  • Bronson, Missouri||

    They're really IRS "executives" rather than "agents." In my experience being around govt, they're getting a lot tougher on travel expenses for the mid-level manager types. Executives can obviously still an exceedingly long leash.

  • GILMORE™||

    one employee who managed to travel 381 days of the year.

    i KNEW they had a time machine

  • Pan Zagloba "The Stickler"||

    Look, that international date line shit is so confusing!

  • cavalier973||

    OT: any reason I'm seeing Chinese characters when I look at the Internets using my phone?

    I have an LG android, use Verizon, and google chrome.

  • Bronson, Missouri||

    Russians.

  • ||

    Do you have your browser set to translate pages into Mandarin?

  • ||

    You tend to see a lot of Chinese characters when streaming Jackie Chan movies on you phone...

  • gagster||

    Your eyes are open. Try shutting them and I'll bet the problem goes away.

  • ||

    "axpayers paid for IRS employees to rent million-dollar townhomes and luxury apartments, and covered hundreds of nights at the Ritz Carlton and other five star hotels during 2015"

    Nothing left to cut. The cupboards are bare.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Dedicated professionals, engaged in crucial government business. Nothing left to cut!

  • Brian||

    Public servants, really.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The lack of effort by IRS employees to exercise prudence and economy when utilizing taxpayer funds is concerning

    And it's beginning to look like General Ripper may have exceeded his authority.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    It's not often that I feel sympathy for bureaucrat-parasites, but I do feel kind of bad for the person who had to travel 381 days per year.

    The poor bastard was probably forced to choose between that or working 30-hour days by some horrible and overbearing boss!

    These poor abused agents need a strong union. Otherwise, next thing you know, they'll be working 8 days a week like in that Beatles song.

  • searchingmind||

    "poor abused agents"
    Trust me, these aren't Revenue Agents, Special Agents or Revenue Officers, the Grunts. Not in the IRS I knew and occasionally loved for 31 years last century.

  • shamrock||

    Most of these examples come out to about $230/night for a hotel room. That's excessive?

  • Karl Hungus||

    I don't know the average nightly rate for hotels in the DC area, but if they're not staying at a Motel 6 somewhere in Loudon County and going to and from the DC offices en masse in a shuttle van, then yeah, I'd say say it's excessive.

    But I prefer to look at the big picture here. These are people whose sole function is to relieve you, me, and most everyone else here of an arbitrary portion of our wealth, and they're empowered to kill us if we fail to comply. Yes, I realize that robbery victims don't generally have much input into how their assailants spend their stolen wealth, but there's something about seeing it spent lavishly that adds insult to injury.

  • Karl Hungus||

    As though we needed more proof that the IRS is nothing more than a continuing criminal enterprise.

  • Libertarian||

    As an ex DoD employee, this does not surprise me. As an ex DoD employee, I've always said that if the taxpayers knew what the hell was going on with government employees, there would be riots in the streets.

  • Longtobefree||

    It ain't easy investigating all those evil right wing groups. A good night's sleep is important.

  • albeit||

    Meanwhile, former agents help those who don't pay their taxes to get away with paying less. With the help of their buddies still at the IRS, who they will eventually hire in order to complete the transaction.

  • Roscoe Filburn||

    "Glynco, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb". This is incorrect. Glynco is another name for Glynn County, Georgia, home of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), where all federal agents who carry firearms in the course of their duties must go to be trained. The fact that this destination was among the top three for IRS agents nationwide is yet another matter for significant concern.

  • Nwallins||

    To reiterate, Glynco is about 300 miles from Atlanta, on the coast, right next to Jekyll Island.

  • jbsnc||

    This is a Banana Republic and it will continue to grow as long as politicians put their careers ahead of Country. Add most of the MSM and we've a huge reversal problem. I have hope with Trump. We will see.

  • Travel Center||

    Dedicated professionals, engaged in crucial government business. Nothing left to cut!

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