Huh? IRS Awarded $1 Million in Bonuses to Employees Who Owed Back Taxes

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Though millions of Americans scrambled to file their taxes on time last week, a group of employees within the Internal Revenue Service who missed the April 15 deadline in years past were astonishingly rewarded by the organization.

The IRS dispensed $1 million in bonuses to 1,150 workers who owed back taxes between October 2010 and December 2012, an internal government investigation revealed yesterday.

In total, the organization handed out $2.8 million in bonuses to 2,800 workers with disciplinary problems, according to The New York Times, including misuse of government credit cards, drug use, violent threats and fraudulent unemployment benefit claims.

J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, who filed the report, said that though the bonuses had not been bestowed illegally, the act represents a stark divergence from the IRS’ stated mission.

“While not prohibited, providing awards to employees who have been disciplined for failing to pay federal taxes appears to create a conflict with the IRS’s charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administration,” George said.

Related: 5 Tax Mistakes That Startups Make

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