IRS employees who made “unintentional” mistakes on their taxes are still eligible to get bonuses this fiscal year, the agency confirmed this week.
Commissioner John Koskinen announced the bonuses in an email to employees on Monday, saying they were a way to reward long-suffering staffers who have put up with budget and workforce cuts and are still keeping the agency humming.
But the payout, worth millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money, isn’t sitting well with congressional critics, who said it sends the wrong message at a time when the agency is reeling from several scandals, and when even staffers who are delinquent on their taxes can collect bonuses.
“It’s no wonder the American people find it hard to believe the IRS needs more money when the agency fails to collect back taxes from their own employees and instead rewards them with bonuses,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, the Utah Republican who is poised to become chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance next year. “American families have been doing more with less for far too long now, and it is time the IRS [does] the same.”