IRS Employees Who Didn't Pay Taxes Got Bonuses

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Original poster
Aug 17, 2007
17,538
8,161
Colorado
The Internal Revenue Service handed out $2.8 million in bonuses to employees with disciplinary issues — including more than $1 million to employees who didn't pay their federal taxes, a watchdog report says.

The report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said 1,146 IRS employees received bonuses within a year of substantiated federal tax compliance problems.

The bonuses weren't just monetary. Employees with tax problems received a total of 10,582 hours of paid time off — valued at about $250,000 — and 69 received permanent raises through a step increase, the report said. The report looked at bonuses in 2011 and 2012.

Employees' tax problems included "willful understatement of tax liabilities over multiple tax years, late payment of tax liabilities, and underreporting of income," the report said.

Non-payment of taxes by federal employees is a government-wide problem. The IRS says 311,536 federal employees were tax delinquents in 2011, owing a total of $3.5 billion.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/22/irs-bonuses-employees-delinquent-taxes/8012195/

These people should be fired not getting bonuses.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Original poster
Aug 17, 2007
17,538
8,161
Colorado
Why are IRS employees any different when it comes to tax issues? Of course I don't condone their behavior but bonuses have to do with their work, not their private life.
You don't think it is hypocritical to work for an agency that is responsible for enforcing tax laws while you are ignoring those very same laws?

"Do as I say, not as I do."

Its funny, but if a "family values" Republican gets caught cheating on his wife you and half the members here on all over him like white on rice. But IRS employees not paying taxes, not a big deal.:rolleyes:
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
You don't think it is hypocritical to work for an agency that is responsible for enforcing tax laws while you are ignoring those very same laws?

"Do as I say, not as I do."

Its funny, but if a "family values" Republican gets caught cheating on his wife you and half the members here on all over him like white on rice. But IRS employees not paying taxes, not a big deal.:rolleyes:

I think it's very hypocritical but last I looked, hypocrisy wasn't grounds for any punishment.

If said 'family values' Republican preached about his family values, then he deserves what he gets. "Do as I say, not as I do."

Where did I say paying taxes isn't a big deal?
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2010
1,100
1,293
I don't think there are enough facts here to say much, other than "ain't it awful?"

People get into tax trouble all the time for various reasons, often having to do with married couples and some business dealings of the spouse. We don't know how many of the people involved knowingly did not pay all their required taxes.

Stories like this are often a favorite of people who hate the Federal Income Tax. I think the F.I.T. was a great engine of progress in the mid 20th Century -- something that we have lost track of in recent decades under the constant barrage of propaganda by the Waltons and the Kochs et al.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Original poster
Aug 17, 2007
17,538
8,161
Colorado
Where did I say paying taxes isn't a big deal?
Since you said that it was a private matter to pay your taxes and doesn't relate to their work at the IRS, I guess I read too much into it. My mistake.:rolleyes:

----------

People get into tax trouble all the time for various reasons, often having to do with married couples and some business dealings of the spouse. We don't know how many of the people involved knowingly did not pay all their required taxes.
From the article quoted earlier:

Employees' tax problems included "willful understatement of tax liabilities over multiple tax years, late payment of tax liabilities, and underreporting of income," the report said.

Yep, these poor unfortunate employees. They just had a "failure to communicate" with their spouses.

----------

I think the F.I.T. was a great engine of progress in the mid 20th Century --
It may have been, but at this time when 47% of Americans pay no Federal Income Taxes, the "great engine" needs an tune up.
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,492
361
Oregon, USA
Yes, and police shouldn't get to park wherever they want without getting parking tickets. Yet they do. The question isn't if its wrong (it is), the question is how wrong. If IRS employees are not subject to the same laws as the rest of us (if there is a higher scrutiny), they would need to know that upon hiring.

And as a practical matter, we would end up paying more in higher salaries needed to find people willing to subject themselves to that scrutiny than we lost to the cheats in these cases. Though since they were measured, I'm assuming they were caught and therefore still have to pay, in which case I'm having trouble seeing the loss (?).

It may have been, but at this time when 47% of Americans pay no Federal Income Taxes, the "great engine" needs an tune up.
Here's the tax paying breakdown of population for each of several income tiers:




Here are those same tiers, showing total income (population x earnings):



All that red put together is only 11% of all income. They're called poor for a reason. If the goal is for them to pay more, they will need to earn more. Something does need fixing but the tax code is only one part of the problem.
 
Last edited:

hulugu

macrumors 68000
Aug 13, 2003
1,819
10,230
quae tangit perit Trump
...It may have been, but at this time when 47% of Americans pay no Federal Income Taxes, the "great engine" needs an tune up.
Much hay has been made of this fact, but it's clear that a large number of people aren't earning enough income to pay taxes as many are on social security or disability. Thus, forcing them to pay taxes isn't going to help them or the nation.

You don't think it is hypocritical to work for an agency that is responsible for enforcing tax laws while you are ignoring those very same laws?
Hypocritical? Certainly, but it's an interesting problem. The rest of the 310,000 government employees can still receive bonus and vacation time whether or not they pay their taxes, just like the rest of America. However, IRS employees are judged based on their performance and their tax payments.

I would expect IRS employees, more than anyone else would know how to game the system and avoid paying taxes.

And, finally, it's worth noting that the reason we know about this problem is because of an internal audit from the Treasury's IG.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,669
1,745
Hypocritical? Certainly, but it's an interesting problem. The rest of the 310,000 government employees can still receive bonus and vacation time whether or not they pay their taxes, just like the rest of America. However, IRS employees are judged based on their performance and their tax payments.

I would expect IRS employees, more than anyone else would know how to game the system and avoid paying taxes.

And, finally, it's worth noting that the reason we know about this problem is because of an internal audit from the Treasury's IG.
I think his point was that they obviously know better given that they're employed by that agency. What I don't understand is why he would suggest firing them. They should just be required to pay it as anyone else would be. They can't claim ignorance, but the IRS doesn't care about policy ignorance anyway when it comes to making assessments.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,647
661
Colly-fornia
You're right, the IRS should be investigation more deeply on people. Just as soon as they're done investigating less deeply into people as requested by the GOP to one Lois Lerner.

Can't please you guys. Either the IRS is overzealous and needs to be reigned in, or it's underzealous and needs to be more aggressive, depending on what the political need of the day is.
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2010
1,100
1,293
It may have been, but at this time when 47% of Americans pay no Federal Income Taxes, the "great engine" needs an tune up.
We'll just have to agree to disagree about this. You know as well as I do that people making < $10K a year are going to get their $300 or $500 or whatever in withheld taxes back because of the Earned Income Credit. A lot of conservatives supported changing the tax laws to make sure that people with small incomes had a positive incentive to earn income. Now, you and Mitt Romney are trying to turn that around and make it a negative-- and, I admit that I find this particular argument particularly annoying. The people in this category who are not paying Federal Income Tax are poor-- it is that simple. They are still paying sales tax and property tax via rent. But, that doesn't make you happy?

Bottom line -- I not only flat out reject that argument, but, I find it morally repugnant. I don't object to the argument that everyone should pay at least $1 tax just so they are in the system. But, if poor people are getting their $300 or $500 of withholding back, they shouldn't be attacked for it.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
Here's a weird one coming from me. I do not think that the IRS should take any negative action against them as employees. As taxpayers, they should go after them just as they do everyone else but as employees? That matter doesn't have anything to do with their employment. If someone working for me, were to not pay their taxes, I wouldn't be allowed to terminate their employment for it. I'd simply follow the law and accounting would take the collection from their checks once it made it that far.
 

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,575
3,518
Atlanta, GA
I like the part about giving bonuses to employees with disciplinary issues. Behave badly and you shall be duly rewarded. :rolleyes:
Almost, but not quite, as bad as rewarding failing CEOs with double-digit millions in salary. At least these bonuses seem to be very small, as in less than that CEO made before pouring his morning coffee.
 

turtle777

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2004
678
15
I think it's very hypocritical but last I looked, hypocrisy wasn't grounds for any punishment.

If said 'family values' Republican preached about his family values, then he deserves what he gets. "Do as I say, not as I do."
You DO realize that your response is the epitome of irony ?

-t
 

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,575
3,518
Atlanta, GA
Rich guy uses every scam, con, hustle, hoodwink, gambit, flimflam, stratagem, and bamboozle possible to avoid millions in taxes, he's a patriot and a true American.

IRS worker who probably owes very little hides it and he should be fired and read the riot act.

Nope…no double standards up in here.
 

Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
2,047
2,682
Flea Bottom, King's Landing
From the article quoted earlier:

Employees' tax problems included "willful understatement of tax liabilities over multiple tax years, late payment of tax liabilities, and underreporting of income," the report said.

Yep, these poor unfortunate employees. They just had a "failure to communicate" with their spouses.
If any of those employees are auditors, they should be fired for being incompetent. As an IRS auditor, they ought to know which red flags triggers an audit and can deftly hide their trail. The auditors who found those suspicious returns of IRS employees should gain a nice bonus. They can smoke out tax even the smarmiest of tax evaders.:D

It may have been, but at this time when 47% of Americans pay no Federal Income Taxes, the "great engine" needs an tune up.
The Tax Code is too complex and convoluted. In the spirit of KISS: get rid of ALL itemized deductions. Have one deduction to rule them all ($100,000 standard deduction:eek:). Everything above $100,000 is taxable income. For Business standard deduction of $1 billion to help out the small to medium businesses, the real job makers. No stinking outsources to other countries.