The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a review of the IRS employee credit card program this week. Many of the items that were purchased and approved may astound you. Taken directly from the report, Americans for Tax Reform has compiled a list of the ten most ridiculous items purchased with IRS credit cards:
Item #1: “Nerf Footballs”
IRS employees used their credit card to purchase $119 worth of Nerf footballs that were intended to be used for a “team-building exercise.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, they never used the balls, which are “currently stored in a filing cabinet” somewhere in the bowels of the IRS.
Item #2: “Related Alcohol Purchases”
At one luncheon, IRS credit cards were used for “related alcohol purchases” including 28 bottles of wine—for 41 guests. As a bottle of wine contains about five servings, this equates to three and a half glasses of wine per person. YOLO!
Item #3: “Thomas the Tank Engine Rubber Wristbands”
For the child in all of us, the IRS purchased these for “managers’ meetings.” These were part of the “almost $4,000 in improper decorative and give-away items” that TIGTA found in their review.
Item #4: World’s Largest Crossword Puzzle
Along with some jigsaw puzzles, the IRS purchased the “world’s largest crossword puzzle.” These purchases cost $89 of taxpayer money. Hopefully the IRS actually used these in their “team building” activities -- unlike those poor Nerf footballs.
Item #5: “Plush Animals”
Even IRS agents need a little love sometimes, which may be why plush animals were purchased with IRS credit cards as give away prizes. Who wouldn’t want to go home and squeeze their little teddy after a long day of harassing free-market grassroots groups?
Item #6: “Bathtub Toy Boats”
Another one of the “give-away items” at the IRS managers’ meetings were “bathtub toy boats”. The IRS spent $418 to purchase these, along with some other “improper decorative and give-away items.”
Item #7: “Stove Top Hats”
Not many people can pull off the hat like Abe Lincoln did, but that didn’t stop IRS agents from trying to outdo our 16th President. Stove top hats were purchased using an IRS credit card as yet another “give-away prize.”
Item #8: “Kazoos”
The IRS must enjoy the sound of Kazoos. They used your tax money for “novelty decorations and give-away items, such as kazoos” which were awarded as prizes during their managers’ meetings. Don’t you really wish you knew what went on in these meetings?
Item #9: “Dinner at an approximate cost of $140 per person.”
The report notes a “dinner at an approximate cost of $140 per person, four times the Federal Government per diem rate in Washington D.C.” At the time of this conference the per diem rate was $36 for dinner.
Item #10: A $100 Per Person Lunch
The IRS spent five times the Federal Government per diem rate of $18 when they bought lunch at $100 per guest. And they say there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Even with a release of this report on the spend-thrift, fiscal insanity of the IRS, they are still granting employee bonuses totaling $70 million.
To learn more about the impending bonuses, check out ATR’s “Top 10 Reasons Your IRS Agent Deserves a Bonus (with GIFs).”