(CNSNews.com) – According to a report issued by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the IRS allowed 960 out of 1,580 employees – or 61 percent – who willfully cheated on their taxes to continue working there after the misconduct was discovered. Most employees received less penalties such as counseling, reprimands, or suspensions.
The study, which looked at cases closed in Fiscal Years 2004 through 2013, found that the remaining 620 employees who cheated on their taxes were terminated, resigned, or simply retired. The remainder had their penalties “mitigated” by the IRS commissioner, who, the report says, has the “sole authority to mitigate cases to a lesser penalty.”
The report further stated that it could discern no consistent pattern to explain why certain employees had their penalties mitigated, while some were repeat offenders. “Some employees had significant and sometimes repeated tax noncompliance issues, and a history of other conduct issues. Moreover, management had concluded that the employees were not credible. Nonetheless, the proposed terminations were mitigated by the IRS Commissioner,” TIGTA stated.
Going forward, TIGTA suggested that the commissioner should be required to document “the analysis of evidence and the basis for the decision on whether or not to mitigate penalties.” The IRS has agreed and is planning to begin a review process at an unspecified time.
The IRS maintains that it has the highest tax compliance of any federal agency, saying in a statement that it has a more than 99 percent compliance rate.