05 / 01 / 14

"Break a Tax Law...Get a Bonus from Your Boss (the IRS)?!"

In case you haven't heard, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently issued a report finding that IRS employees who owed back taxes were paid lucrative bonuses. According to TIGTA, more than $1 million was paid to over 1,100 IRS employees who are delinquent on their taxes.

As it stands today, the IRS doesn’t even consider tax law compliance when determining whether employees are entitled to bonuses! I guess this is another situation where the rules that apply to us just don’t apply to those in government.

Hopefully this will change soon as two U.S. Senators (Kelly Ayotte, R-NH and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.) have introduced a bill called the “Stop Wasteful Federal Bonuses Act”.  If passed, this law would prohibit the head of an agency from awarding a bonus to an employee if the agency’s Inspector General, a senior ethics official, or the Government Accountability Office determines that the employee’s conduct violated agency policy or violated a law for which the employee may be imprisoned for more than one year.  The prohibition would stick with the employee for five years.

I guess what’s obvious to the rest of us  --  that unlawful behavior should not be rewarded  --  may not be so obvious to others, including the IRS.