IRS Bonuses Paid to Employees Who Owed Back Taxes, Faced Discipline

Image: IRS Bonuses Paid to Employees Who Owed Back Taxes, Faced Discipline

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 03:08 PM

By Jonna Lorenz

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The Internal Revenue Service paid $2.8 million in bonuses over the last few years to employees who faced disciplinary action, including more than $1 million to 1,150 workers who owed back taxes.

Some 2,800 employees who received bonuses reportedly misused government credit cards for travel and drug use, made violent threats, and fraudulently claimed unemployment benefits.

The awards were given between Oct. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2012.

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J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, who released a report about the bonuses on Monday, said they don’t violate federal regulations.

"While not specifically prohibited by IRS policies, providing awards to employees with conduct issues, especially the failure to pay taxes owed to the Federal Government, appears to be in conflict with the IRS’s charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administration," George said in his report.

The IRS said it will change its personnel policies and include all employees in its existing policy against issuing awards to any executives who were subject to disciplinary action, CNN reported.

The IRS will prepare a feasibility study on possible policy changes by this summer, Forbes said.

Personnel policy changes would be negotiated with the National Treasury Employees Union.

The IRS had about 100,000 workers during the period of George’s audit.

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