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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

May 1, 2014 - 4:47 pm

A group of Republican senators introduced a bill today to cut off bonuses to misbehaving IRS employees — including ones who cheat on their taxes or are late filing.

Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) unveiled the No Bonuses for Delinquent IRS Employees Act, which would “prohibit the IRS from providing any performance award to any IRS employee who owes an outstanding federal tax debt” and “block any performance award to an employee who has entered into an installment payment plan for an outstanding tax liability until the payment plan has been completed.”

A companion bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas).

A report from the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration released last week found that nearly 70 percent of IRS staffers received some sort of performance bonus.

About $3 million of those awards, though, went to employees who had violations on their work records including citations for drug use, making violent threats, fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits, and misusing government credit cards.

And about half of that $3 million consisted of bonuses to 1,100 employees who have been delinquent in paying their own taxes or otherwise violated U.S. tax law.

“To reward employees who violate the very tax laws the IRS is responsible for enforcing is inexplicable and outrageous,” said Isakson. “I’ve heard from Georgians from across the state who have lost all confidence in the IRS and this is exactly why. We must hold the IRS accountable on behalf of the American taxpayer to ensure we put an end to the unacceptable behavior exhibited by this agency.”

Johnson said the report confirms that the IRS is “simply out of control.”

“This bonus scandal comes at a time when the IRS is under fire for targeting Americans based on their beliefs and amid reports that reveal IRS workers broke the law by engaging in political activity on the job,” the Texas congressman said.

“IRS employees are failing to comply with the very laws they were hired to enforce. Worse, it further proves that Washington doesn’t respect nor care how Americans’ hard earned tax dollars are spent. It’s time for the IRS to respect hardworking American taxpayers.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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Is anyone surprised this bill was filed by Republicans? Are there any Democrats clamoring to get on board as co-sponsors? Next time someone tells you there's no difference between the parties, remind them of this.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bingo.

There's not as much difference as some of us would like to see, but "there's not a dime's bit of difference between them!" is just juvenile.

23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
The way things are at the moment, I'd be happy if they were simply fired like I believe they would have been in the days gone by.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"70 percent of IRS staffers received some sort of performance bonus"

They did get a President re-elected.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about NO bonuses at all and change taxes to a flat or fair tax for everybody.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
You might want to rethink that flat tax business. Look into how the current monster was born. A flat tax is just setting the clock back, while retaining the worst principle of the current monster - the idea that my personal finances are the government's business.

The only way to kill this monster is to move to a simple retail tax. Period. NO income or earnings taxes of any kind.

23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about jail, like everyone else would get!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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