Digging Into The IRS Bonuses For Disciplined Workers Audit

GREENSBORO, NC -- 2WTK continues to dig into the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report which reveals the IRS paid a total of $178 million in bonuses to IRS workers between 2011 and 2012. In 2011, it was $92 million for 70,500 employees. In 2012, 67,870 employees were paid $86 million in bonuses.

But here's the sticking point, 2,800 of the IRS workers who got the bonuses had been disciplined within a year of getting their bonus. And almost a half of the 2,800 (1,146) either hadn't paid or were late in paying their federal taxes.

The other disciplinary actions included: travel card misuse (which included misusing the card or turning in information late), misconduct that resulted in a reprimand, suspension or removal, a 1203(b) violation which is described as willful misconduct, or fraud.

How could that be? The IRS explained in a statement that said, "The audit did not find any violations with the awards program's compliance with federal regulations."

So what does it take to get a bonus? 2WTK checked into the criteria. The Treasury General's Report says bonuses are given on: "Basis of merit, as a result of suggestion, invention, superior accomplishment, productivity gain, or other personal effort that contributes to efficiency, economy or other improvement of government operations."

2WTK contacted each of our lawmakers to get their reaction to the audit and to see if they were planning on taking action. Senator Richard Burr was the only lawmaker to send a statement. It said,

"In February, I sent a letter to the IRS Commissioner to condemn the IRS's decision to award $62.5 million in taxpayer-funded bonuses to employees. These bonuses were given despite the IRS's deterioration in performance and its targeting of conservative organizations. This new information from the Inspector General of the Treasury Department that the IRS awarded $2.8 million in bonuses to employees who participated in illegal behavior -- including fraud, drug use, and failing to pay their taxes – is a further insult to taxpayers. It is telling that an agency tasked with tax code compliance addresses non-compliance among its own employees by rewarding them with bonuses. What IRS employees need is accountability, not a pat on the back."


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