Many also awarded even though they’ve violated agency policies…
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) While the Internal Revenue Service looks for violations in citizens tax returns, a report from the Office of the Inspector General found that some IRS employees haven’t paid their taxes but still received bonuses.
The report found that the IRS paid $141 million in bonuses to employees in fiscal year 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.
The IRS has a screening process for bonuses.
In 2017, the IRS denied 1,048 employees from receiving bonuses due to misconduct, but they didn’t weed out all the violators.
FreedomWorks issued a press release in response to the audit’s findings.
“These federal bureaucrats are digging around in our tax files, looking for any slip up that’s not perfect,” Vice President of Advocacy Noah Wall said. “And they are collecting bonuses while they’re way out of compliance. The IRS is a substantial part of the swamp.”
The misconduct went beyond tax violations, too.
“Increased screening procedures for awards resulted in the IRS denying almost 80 percent of awards to screened employees with identified conduct and tax issues such as willful tax violations, criminal misconduct, substance abuse, and unauthorized access to tax return information,” the report found.
The screening was not perfect, though.
The audit found that 26 employees received bonuses even though they had “violations including willful tax noncompliance.”
Not only did these employees retain employment with the IRS, they still received awards.
The report also found a substantial number of employees who violated IRS policies.
“The IRS issued more than $1.7 million in awards to 1,962 employees who had a disciplinary or adverse action during the 12 months prior to receiving their award. Some of these employees had serious misconduct such as unauthorized access to tax return information, substance abuse, and sexual misconduct,” the report said.
The report noted, however, that “the vast majority” of IRS employees who received bonuses were not in violation of any laws or policies.
The audit suggested that the IRS “expand misconduct screening to consider employees with any level of disciplinary action prior to issuing awards, examine the Federal tax compliance status of all employees before issuing awards, and comply with Treasury reporting requirements for awards.”
The IRS agreed to all recommendations, but no detailed plan is given as to how the IRS will correct previous wrongs.
“Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter should not rest until these bonuses are returned to the taxpayers and until all tax cheats are fired from this rightly swampy agency,” Wall said.