Question: How do you think the IRS would react if you were found to have repeatedly failed to file your tax returns on time, or intentionally inflated your expenses in order to reduce the amount of taxes owed the government, or claimed the stimulus homebuyer’s tax credit without actually buying a home? Can you imagine that federal tax collectors would simply look the other way and not go after you for cheating Uncle Sam?
Of course not. You’d never expect the IRS to give you a break if it’s proven that you haven’t done what President Obama and his liberal allies so often demand — pony up and pay your fair share. However, if you’re an employee of the Internal Revenue Service who has knowingly failed to pay what you owe the federal government, you could be treated differently than an ordinary citizen. And that’s exactly what the Treasury Inspector General (IG) overseeing the IRS has just revealed — preferential treatment of tax cheaters who work for the tax agency.
The Washington Times reports that the majority of identified and proven tax cheaters in the employ of the IRS are still on the job, as the agency hasn’t fired them; and in fact, says the IG, many have been rewarded — promoted even after being nailed for not paying up:
Advertisement – story continues below
In about 60 percent of cases of ‘willful violations,’ IRS managers found mitigating circumstances and refused to fire the employees, even though the law calls for that penalty. In some of those cases, the managers didn’t even document why they had overridden the penalty, said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George.
And how many of these “willful violations” of tax law by its own employees did the agency refuse to act on? The Times article says that, over a decade-long span, there were 1,580 instances where IRS workers were determined to have intentionally cheated on their taxes.
“The inspector general took a sampling of 364 cases of intentional cheaters and found that 108 of them were not only not fired, but were given raises or promotions within a year of being found to be cheating,” noted The Times.
Advertisement - story continues below
Coverage by The Hill of the IG’s report observes that the audit comes at an “awkward time” for the head of the agency: “John Koskinen, the IRS chief, has been saying for months that more than $1 billion in budget cuts have amounted to ‘tax cuts for tax cheats,’ by hurting the agency’s ability to investigate crimes.”
The Hill piece then quotes a Republican congressman from Illinois who blasts the agency for not taking swift, punitive action against known tax cheats in its own ranks:
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), the chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee overseeing the IRS, said the fact that the agency would harbor tax cheats while complaining about their ability to find them ‘quite frankly defies logic.’
Facebook has greatly reduced the distribution of our stories in our readers' newsfeeds and is instead promoting mainstream media sources. When you share to your friends, however, you greatly help distribute our content. Please take a moment and consider sharing this article with your friends and family. Thank you.