The bonuses were uncovered by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, not an outside investigation. TIGTA is independent, does internal audits, and is the equivalent of Internal Affairs in law enforcement. They are feared. And they did their job correctly and well.
The report doesn’t say what rank the IRS employees were. I doubt they were IRS agents, who are required to file on time with full payment made. Extensions are not allowed. IRS agents also have a full audit of their personal returns done each year by an IRS auditor in another office who does not know them. Screwing up on your taxes or filing can get an IRS agent fired. So why were other IRS employees permitted such leeway?
Between Oct. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2012, the IRS paid $2.8 million in bonuses to employees cited in the past year for such things as drug use, making violent threats, fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits, misusing government credit cards and — get this — failing to pay their taxes.
None of this apparently violated federal guidelines or any internal policies related to rewarding employees.
These guidelines need to be changed now.