The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found in a 2014 report that the IRS is giving out bonuses to employees with outstanding tax obligations. This is not a hypothetical concern, the report found that the IRS has handed out over $1 million in bonuses, 10,000 hours in extra time off, and 69 step increase to more than 1,100 employees with tax problems. This report highlights the IRS’s continued misuse of funds, prompting the need for immediate reform within the agency.
These IRS employees are failing to comply with the very laws they were hired to enforce. The IRS and its employees cannot continue to be treated as above the law. To hold IRS employees to the same standards American taxpayers are obligated to follow, Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX) has proposed H.R. 1599, The “No Bonuses for Tax Delinquent IRS Employees Act.”
This legislation will prohibit the IRS from providing bonuses or other performance related award to IRS employees that have outstanding federal tax debt. In a show of support, ATR wrote to Congressman Johnson, stressing the importance of this legislation to all members of congress to ensure the IRS is held accountable to the American people.
The full letter can be found here and is pasted below:
June 20, 2017
The Honorable Sam Johnson
United States House of Representatives
2304 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Congressman Johnson:
I write in support of H.R. 1599, the “No Bonuses For Tax Delinquent IRS Employees Act.” This legislation prohibits the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service from providing bonuses or other performance related award to IRS employees that have outstanding federal tax debt.
The concern that the IRS is giving bonuses to tax delinquent employees is not hypothetical. The agency has handed out over $1 million in bonuses, 10,000 hours in extra time off, and 69 step increases to more than 1,100 employees with tax problems, according to a 2014 report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
These employees are failing to comply with the very laws they were hired to enforce. Taxpayers are expected to comply with federal law, and it is only reasonable to expect IRS employees to be held accountable to the same standard.
In recent years, the IRS has claimed it does not have enough taxpayer resources to properly do its job. At the same time, the agency has been found to have committed numerous improper activities, most notably when the IRS Exempt Organization Division led by Lois Lerner targeted non-profit conservative groups. This is just one of many instance the IRS has failed to do its job and there is clear need for reform within the agency.
Supporting the No Bonuses For Tax Delinquent IRS Employees Act is a matter principle. The simple fact is, IRS employees who are failing to comply with the tax laws they are employed to enforce should be held accountable. Members of Congress should support this important legislation and ensure the IRS is held accountable to the American people.
Grover G. Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform