Right Hooks

It Pays to Be a Tax-Cheating IRS Employee

Ironically, the agency that cracks down on tax cheats embraces them internally.

Political Editors · Feb. 6, 2017

Barack Obama’s IRS will forever be remembered for subjugating conservative groups to villainous standards, refusing to grant many of them tax-free status. Unfortunately, the problems there — like at the VA — are far more widespread than any government official cares to admit. For some IRS workers, cheating the tax system apparently isn’t considered egregious enough to be fired.

From April to September 2016, nine workers were found cheating on their personal tax filings. But thanks to — who else? — Commissioner John Koskinen, they were given only modest penalties and allowed to keep their jobs. To be fair, The Washington Times says, “The problem of employees cheating on their taxes stretches back well before Mr. Koskinen took office. The 2015 inspector general’s report found that 61 percent of employees found to have intentionally failed to file or understated taxes from 2004 to 2013 were allowed to stay.” But the embattled Koskinen is trying to make the case for why he should remain at the helm. This isn’t going to help.

Unbelievably, the Times continues, “IRS officials say their employees are like anyone else, and life circumstances can get in the way of being able to pay their taxes in full, on time. Still, the agency said, its staff overall is law-abiding, with compliance rates far higher than that of the general public.” Just don’t try using that excuse with the feds. As Rep. Mark Walker put it, “The privileged and well-connected should not get to live and work by another standard. Just like with Commissioner John Koskinen, these IRS employees have failed in performing their duties and have neglected the laws they are supposed to uphold.” The IRS is bloated enough as it is. And there certainly shouldn’t be room for tax cheats and their amiable superiors.

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