IRS Employees Openly Cheated Taxes, Got Promoted Anyway

Casey Harper | Contributor

Turns out working for the IRS means you don’t have to pay them.

Nearly 1,600 IRS employees didn’t pay their taxes over a ten year period, and more than half of those willful tax cheats weren’t fired because the commissioner saved their job, according to a new inspector general report released to the public Wednesday.

Some employees even got promotions less than one year after they were caught cheating on their taxes.

Section 1203 of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act clearly states that IRS employees who cheat on their taxes must be fired unless the IRS commissioner intercedes to save their jobs. Well those commissioners have been busy saving hundreds of the tax cheaters’ jobs over  the last decade.

The government oversight audit exposed that 1,580 had willfully cheated on their taxes but only 620, or 39 percent, actually left the agency.

That means 960 IRS employees who willfully cheated on their taxes from 2004 through 2013 only received minor discipline such as “suspensions, reprimands, or counseling.”

The common tax offenses included claiming the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit without buying a home and repeatedly filing late Federal tax returns.

Even after the cheating employees’ managers said the employees were no longer credible, commissioners still refused to fire them.

In response to the report, the IRS has publicly said it will try much harder in the future and pointed out that this is a small percentage of its employees.

“The IRS is committed to ensuring that employees meet their tax compliance responsibilities. It’s important to note that the IRS has a more than 99% tax compliance rate, the highest of any major federal agency,” the IRS said in a statement.

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