Last week’s government-scandal story practically wrote itself. An IRS inspector general reported that more than 1,000 IRS employees got more than $1 million in bonuses despite the fact that they were behind in their taxes.
What’s not to love? Arguably the most unpopular federal agency caught with its 1040s down. And on April 15 no less! Oh, the humanity!
Federal News Radio reported the story and on Friday, not wishing to miss the pile-on, I got in on it too.
So what does a long-time, long-suffering IRS insider think of the “scandal”?
This is so lame. Yes, I cannot argue the facts about the award money, but nobody looks into this further. A lot of these problem employees probably owed and were on installment agreements and/or owed after April 15 and fully paid it shortly after that deadline or are paying it off as we speak, which is more than I can say about many of my fellow Americans. They are off paying thousands to “save pennies on the dollar.” They’d rather not pay their taxes to the USA but pay someone else to finagle a deal for them. If you don’t pay your taxes for your state, city or whatever, you will be fired. Many of these situations if looked into show that these tax problem employees are on an installment agreement or fully paid their taxes. I talked to a union rep who says many of these situations crop up if you owe as little as $8.00!
We are always beaten up and get beat up more by just reporting part of the story. In my 27 years I’ve had to file a city’s tax return because I was there for a week for training, and that city had an income tax. I just don’t understand it, there’s a whole bunch of tax-owing noncompliant congressmen and senators who get elected with special-interest money and nobody says boo about them. They say this paying out awards to employees who owed challenges IRS’ integrity to collect taxes. Let me just say this. I owed this year and issued a check and fully paid before 4/15/2014 (and I didn’t get an award). Does the fact I owed compromise my integrity to collect taxes? Yes, I have no problem being held to a higher standard but there are situations even IRS people are unfamiliar with and they are surprised with a tax bill. Just like any other American. They have rights … So we shouldn’t? This is going the same way the 1998 Senate hearings when a couple of taxpayers vilified the IRS for doing our job. Did you know we were completely absolved of any wrong doing! NOBODY WROTE ABOUT THAT! Laws were changed and essentially handcuff IRS from collecting taxes. I’m sick and tired of the press just reporting the story and leaving us fodder for Congress and others to exact unreasonable punishments when the whole story is not known. This is another reason I’m retiring soon. This kind of stuff just makes me sick. — Mr. T
Join Bob Leins today at 10 a.m., as he takes your questions and phone calls as part of our “For Your Benefit” radio program. During this month of April all shows have focused on financial literacy as April is Financial Literacy Month. As a result, this coming Monday’s show is your opportunity to ask questions regarding the subjects discussed during the shows as seen below. These shows can also be listened to via the archived version of the shows on our website.
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New rule allows TSP to garnish wages of former feds to recover debt The Thrift Savings Plan could stand to collect more than $500,000 in unpaid debt thanks to expanded authority to garnish employees’ pay even after they leave federal service. A final rule published in the Federal Register Wednesday will allow the Treasury Department — on behalf of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which runs the TSP — to garnish the wages of nonfederal employees who owe the TSP money.