Each year the IRS catches nearly 3,000 employees, about 3% of its workforce, failing to comply with tax laws. But according to a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, about 133 employees evaded detection in 2006 and 2007 for violations ranging from failure to file, late filing, failure to report income and failure to pay taxes due.
TIGTA is encouraging the IRS to root out any and all failures to comply with all tax laws, saying that, “The IRS risks an erosion of public confidence in the American voluntary tax system if it does not appropriately address employees who are not complying with their tax obligations.”
According to the IRS, they are harsh on violators, imposing stronger penalties on its employees than other violators. Any willful noncompliance will result in an employees immediate termination, among other standard legal charges. The IRS says that most the 133 cases referred to by TIGTA did not constitute fraud. “In 44% of the cases, employees filed a tax return late but were due a refund. And over half the cases have already been reviewed and closed because the facts did not merit further review. We are analyzing the rest of the cases, and if there are problems they will be addressed,” the IRS said.
It is not hard to find examples of IRS workers committing tax fraud. One agent was sentenced in May to three years in prison for filing fraudulent returns for himself and relatives, while in April a part-time data-entry clerk was charged with filing false tax returns and committing wire fraud and identity theft, and an employee plead guilty to filing false income-tax returns in the names of her husband, who was in state prison, and other prisoners.