Tax Cheaters Get Promoted at the IRS

IRS managers not only refused to fire tax cheaters, but gave some promotions.

Wow. The same people who accuse and prosecute you and me for making mistakes on our taxes not only get to keep their jobs, but often get promoted at the IRS. Wow. Just wow.

From the Washington Times: “IRS gave promotions to tax cheaters: Audit.”

The IRS refused to fire most of its own employees found to be cheating on their taxes — and in some cases even quickly turned around and promoted them within the year, according to a new audit released Wednesday.

In about 60 percent of cases of “willful violations” IRS managers found mitigating circumstances and refused to fire the employees, even though the law calls for that penalty. In some of those cases the managers didn’t even document why they’d overridden the penalty, said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George.

“Given its critical role in Federal tax administration, the IRS must ensure that its employees comply with the tax law in order to maintain the public’s confidence,” Mr. George said. “Willful violation of the law by IRS employees should not be taken lightly, and the IRS Commissioner should fully document decisions made to retain employees whom management has proposed be terminated.”

Jesus said I should pay my taxes. So I do so to the best of my ability (though I can’t guarantee I or my CPA don’t sometimes make a mistake). But what impact does this have on those without such a conviction? I can only imagine how many people will react to such news with an invigorated commitment to say: “Hey, if these hypocrites don’t pay their fair share” (now there’s an authentic use of that phrase!), “then why should I?”

[See also, “IRS Took Funds Away from Customer Service.”]

During the decade from 2004 to 2013, the IRS identified nearly 130,000 potential cases of tax violations by its own employees, and concluded about 10 percent of those were actual violations. Mr. George said the agency did a good job of spotting those issues.

Of those 13,000 cases, 1,580 were deemed to be intentional cheaters, and they were sent to managers for discipline. But in 60 percent of the cases, the managers refused to fire the employees.

Among the abuses were employees who repeatedly failed to file their returns on time, those who intentionally inflated their expenses and those who claimed the stimulus homebuyer’s tax credit without actually buying a home.

John Koskinen—and every tax cheat—should be cleaning out their desks, with security standing behind them, before the end of the day, today. But, instead, I’m sure they’ll all get promotions for continuing to serve this White House, faithfully.