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In yet another example of how government bureaucrats look out only for their own interests, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service is paying out over $1 million in bonuses to 1,150 of its employees who have failed to pay their tax bills in previous years. Stephen Ohlemacher of the Associated Press reports on the findings of the U.S. Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration:
The Internal Revenue Service has paid more than $2.8 million in bonuses to employees with recent disciplinary problems, including $1 million to workers who owed back taxes, a government investigator said Tuesday.
More than 2,800 workers got bonuses despite facing a disciplinary action in the previous year, including 1,150 who owed back taxes, said a report by J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. The bonuses were awarded from October 2010 through December 2012.
George’s report said the bonus program doesn’t violate federal regulations, but it’s inconsistent with the IRS mission to enforce tax laws.
“These awards are designed to recognize and reward IRS employees for a job well done, and that is appropriate, because the IRS should encourage good performance,” George said. “However, 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.”
Here are 10 tips that the IRS provides to regular taxpayers for paying their delinquent tax bills:
- Tax bill payments If you get a bill this summer for late taxes, you are expected to promptly pay the tax owed including any penalties and interest. If you are unable to pay the amount due, it is often in your best interest to get a loan to pay the bill in full rather than to make installment payments to the IRS.
- Additional time to pay Based on your circumstances, you may be granted a short additional time to pay your tax in full. A brief additional amount of time to pay can be requested through the Online Payment Agreement application at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-829-1040.
- Credit card payments You can pay your bill with a credit card. The interest rate on a credit card may be lower than the combination of interest and penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. To pay by credit card contact one of the following processing companies: Link2Gov at 888-PAY-1040 (or www.pay1040.com), RBS WorldPay, Inc. at 888-9PAY-TAX (or www.payUSAtax.com), or Official Payments Corporation at 888-UPAY-TAX (or www.officialpayments.com/fed).
- Electronic Funds Transfer You can pay the balance by electronic funds transfer, check, money order, cashier’s check or cash. To pay using electronic funds transfer, use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System by either calling 800-555-4477 or using the online access at www.eftps.gov.
- Installment Agreement You may request an installment agreement if you cannot pay the liability in full. This is an agreement between you and the IRS to pay the amount due in monthly installment payments. You must first file all required returns and be current with estimated tax payments.
- Online Payment Agreement If you owe $25,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest, you can request an installment agreement using the Online Payment Agreement application at www.irs.gov.
- Form 9465 You can complete and mail an IRS Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, along with your bill in the envelope you received from the IRS. The IRS will inform you (usually within 30 days) whether your request is approved, denied, or if additional information is needed.
- Collection Information Statement You may still qualify for an installment agreement if you owe more than $25,000, but you are required to complete a Form 433F, Collection Information Statement, before the IRS will consider an installment agreement.
- User fees If an installment agreement is approved, a one-time user fee will be charged. The user fee for a new agreement is $105 or $52 for agreements where payments are deducted directly from your bank account. For eligible individuals with lower incomes, the fee can be reduced to $43.
- Check withholding Taxpayers who have a balance due may want to consider changing their W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, with their employer. A withholding calculator at www.irs.gov can help taxpayers determine the amount that should be withheld.
At no time are regular U.S. taxpayers excused from having to pay their taxes. And while 1.1% of the employees of the IRS are delinquent on their taxes, which compares to 8.2% of regular taxpayers in the general public, employees of the IRS do not have the excuse of not understanding the excessive complexity of the U.S. tax code.
Because of that fact, the number of IRS employees who owe back taxes is really an example of their fellow bureaucrats, who are aware of their situation, looking the other way as they selectively enforce the nation’s laws. And now we know that selectively blind eye extends to the IRS’ employee bonus programs.