Some 1,000-plus employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who were arrears on their federal taxes were awarded bonuses totaling more than $1.1 million over a two-year period, according to a report by the Inspector General (IG).
The IG said the employees had been disciplined for "substantiated federal tax compliance problems" before receiving the bonuses.
The group also received more than 10,000 hours of additional paid time off, and 69 were given accelerated pay-grade increases. In total, more than 2,800 IRS employees who had been disciplined for various reasons received bonuses during the same period. Of that number, 1,146 were tax cheats.
While awarding the bonuses is "not illegal," according to IG Russell George, “providing awards to employees who have been disciplined for failing to pay federal taxes appears to create a conflict with the IRS’ charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administration."
The IRS employs a total of 104,400 workers.