IRS employees spending millions of hours and taxpayers dollars on union work

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The Internal Revenue Service has revealed that the agency’s employees have spent thousands of hours on union activities courtesy of the American taxpayer.

In a response letter to Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany released Tuesday, IRS principal deputy commissioner Daniel Werfel wrote that in Fiscal Year 2012, IRS employees used 573,319 hours for union activities. In FY 2013 through June 2013, according to Werfel, employees have used another 399,772 hours for union activities.

House Ways and Means Committee Republicans noted that the number of hours IRS employees spent on union activities constituted the equivalent of 23,888 days in FY 2012 and 16,657 days to date in FY 2013 — and represents approximately $16 million “taxpayer-funded wages that went exclusively to union activity.”

Werfel further explained in his letter to Boustany that the IRS spent $687,400 on travel expenses for union activity in FY 2012. In FY 2013 through June 2013, the IRS spent $437,548 on union travel.

In April, Boustany sent a letter requesting detailed information about IRS employees spending official time on union training and activities. Werfel’s letter this week constituted a response to his original missive.

“It is ridiculous that the IRS can come before Congress and request an additional $1 billion while dedicating millions of taxpayer dollars on union related activities,” Boustany said in a statement reacting to the findings. “Until the IRS shows it is using its budget to better serve taxpayers, it should not come to Congress asking for more money.”

In June, The Daily Caller reported that an Americans for Limited Government Freedom of Information Act revealed that 201 IRS employees work full-time on union activities.

According to the Office of Personnel Management, in 2011 — the most recent year for which data is available — bargaining employees at all federal government agencies spending a total of 3,395,187 hours on union work, at a cost of approximately $155 million.

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