Watchdog Report Finds IRS Employees Avoided Taxes and Got Bonuses

| by Allison Geller

A watchdog report revealed that IRS employees who had been disciplined for tax and conduct issues received time off and monetary awards over a two-year period. While most IRS workers paid federal taxes like everyone else, some did not or had other disciplinary citations, but were rewarded anyways.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration published the report on Tuesday.

"While not prohibited, providing awards to employees who have been disciplined for failing to pay federal taxes appears to create a conflict with the IRS’s charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administration,” said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George.

2,800 employees were found to have been disciplined, including for failure to comply with federal tax regulations, in the two-year period between October 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012. Yet they received awards totaling over $2.8 million and 27,000 hours of time off.

The IRS responded to the report with a statement saying that it was already changing its policy to clearly link conduct with performance bonuses for executives and senior level employees.

"Even without a formal policy in place over the past four years, the IRS has not issued awards to any executives that were subject to a disciplinary action," the IRS said in a statement. "We are also considering a similar policy for the entire IRS workforce, which would be subject to negotiations with the National Treasury Employees Union."

The Washington Post reports that last year, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sponsored a bill to have federal employees fired who had a incurred “seriously delinquent” tax debt, but it died in the House.

Sources: Fox News, Washington Post