Bonuses For The IRS

Posted: April 25, 2014

Apropos of today’s lead editorial, this piece of news about the agency charged with enforcing the United States Tax Code should remind Americans why they are increasingly disgusted with the tax-hungry administration in Washington.

As The Associated Press reported earlier this week, “The Internal Revenue Service has paid more than $2.8 million in bonuses to employees with recent disciplinary problems, including $1 million to workers who owed back taxes, a government investigator said.”

Yes, you read that correctly.

According to a report by J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, some 1,150 IRS employees who owed back taxes received the combined $1 million in bonuses between October 2010 and December 2012.

Mr. George’s report “said the bonus program doesn’t violate federal regulations, but it’s inconsistent with the IRS mission to enforce tax laws.”

Inconsistent is quite a bit of an understatement. Rewarding workers for “good performance” is a nice idea, but when you are failing to follow the regulations of the federal agency for which you work, something doesn’t add up, to say the least. But with this IRS, recent events have shown that anything is possible. Perhaps the bonuses were for successfully targeting conservative groups and delaying or denying their applications during the 2012 election cycle.

It’s time for Congress to correct this out-of-control behemoth. But that requires overhauling and simplifying the entire tax code. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the courage and will in Washington to achieve that goal.

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