A scathing report issued last Thursday by the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration showed that 10% of the 2000 employees hired between 1/2015 through 3/2016 at the IRS previously worked there and left while under investigation. Four of the employees were even under investigation for “willful failure” to file their tax returns, while another four were being investigated for peering into taxpayers’ accounts without authorization, the audit said — a major breach of tax privacy. Thirteen of the rehired employees had been probed for falsifying documents, six faced misconduct investigations — including threats — and another 86 had left while being investigated for unexcused absences from work, disruptions in the workplace or being unable to follow instructions. Sometimes the hiring officials didn’t even know the employees’ own history at the IRS. As someone who previously worked at the IRS, (technically, for the IRS Office of Chief Counsel), and as someone who now practices before the IRS, this report does not reflect the majority of the IRS employees. I come across many decent and hardworking people on a daily basis. However, as a concerned citizen, private tax practitioner, and watchdog of taxpayer rights, something needs to be said about the other ten percent. The IRS holds the power to destroy and the power to set free. IRS employees handle the most intimate and personal financial information. It goes without saying all IRS employees need to be properly vetted. When I was hired by the IRS as a litigation attorney (well prior to these years I should add) the IRS audited my personal tax returns as part of the application process. All employees had their tax returns audited as part of the hiring process. Talk about a “not-so-fun” application process. I don’t know what has changed. But based on my personal experience I recall some serious vetting going on during the application process. Thus, its curious how these employees slipped through the cracks. Maybe some didn’t because specific employment laws allow the IRS to rehire if certain conditions are met.
Contact Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC at 949-397-2291 if you have a tax concern or matter that requires diligent, experienced and hands-on representation.