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Audit raises more concerns about IRS inefficiency and cronyism

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has made it official: the agency's audit of the IRS reveals that ,from 2004 through 2013, the Service refused to fire about 60 percent of its employees who had cheated on their own personal tax returns. Federal law applicable in Nevada and elsewhere calls for firing employees caught cheating, but IRS managers went out of their way to find mitigating circumstances in most of the cases and retained the employees. The report identifies 1580 employees who cheated on their returns during that period.

The violators had failed to file their returns on time on a repeated basis, intentionally inflated their expenses and claimed tax credits to which they were not entitled. Even a majority of employees with repeated offenses were kept on the job. Out of a random sampling of 364 cases of intentional cheating, the inspector general found that 108 of them were given raises or promotions within a year of being found guilty of cheating.

The situation establishes that the agency appears to have been run on a slipshod basis for many years, permeated with inefficiency and cronyism. It may be that these factors and the general deterioration of agency morale are in part behind the brutal cutting of the IRS budget in recent years. In any event, reform measures are now in order and the agency's protocols need to be studied and polished up.

In Nevada and all other states, taxpayer assistance has fallen to new lows and was a particularly hard blow for many during the recent filing season, according to a U.S. House committee report. The IRS Commissioner stressed recently that if the agency gets more money, it will start to perform. Some critics feel that the agency is threatening poor service and harm to the taxpaying public if its traditional protected interests are not restored by an increased budget.

Source: townhall.com, "Good News: IRS Retains, Promotes Willful Tax Cheats", Guy Benson, May 8, 2015

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