TaxSOS.com Tax Problems Blog

August 21, 2017

August, 21, 2017 – IRS REHIRES BAD AND ROTTEN APPLES

Filed under: IRS Abuse, Misuse, and Taxpayer Rights Violations — Administrator @ 12:43 pm

The TREASURY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR TAX ADMINISTRATION has issued its July, 2017 report concerning The Internal Revenue Service Continuing to Rehire Former Employees With Conduct and Performance Issues. The report is dated July 24, 2017 (Reference Number: 2017-10-035).

The report advises: “Given the substantial threat of identity theft and the magnitude of sensitive information that the IRS holds, hiring employees of high integrity is essential to maintaining public trust in tax administration and safeguarding taxpayer information.”

The findings of the report were: “…While most employees who are rehired do not have prior conduct or performance issues, TIGTA found that more than 200 (approximately 10 percent) of the more than 2,000 former employees who were rehired between January 2015 and March 2016 were previously terminated from the IRS or separated while under investigation for a substantiated conduct or performance issue. More than 150 of these employees (approximately 75 percent) were seasonal. Four of the more than 200 employees had been terminated or resigned for willful failure to properly file their Federal tax returns; four separated while under investigation for unauthorized accesses to taxpayer information; and 86 separated while under investigation for absences and leave, workplace disruption, or failure to follow instructions. This includes positions with access to sensitive taxpayer information, such as contact representatives.”

It is clear that hiring employees of high integrity is essential to not only maintaining public trust in tax administration, but also safeguarding taxpayer information.

The Treasury Inspector General Report shows that the IRS is continuing to hire employees with a history of unauthorized access to taxpayer information, failure to follow instructions, and workplace disruptions. …. Such actions are in direct contravention of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. For example, this is a threat to, inter-alia, a taxpayer’s Right to Privacy, and Right to Confidentiality (…”Taxpayers have the right to expect appropriate action will be taken against employees, … who wrongfully use or disclose taxpayer return information…”).

The TIGTA report also found that:

“27 former employees failed to disclose a prior termination or conviction on their application, as required, and were rehired by the IRS. … , TIGTA has serious concerns about the IRS’s decision to rehire certain employees, such as those who willfully failed to meet their Federal tax responsibilities.”

The TIGTA report states: “In reviewing prior IRS employment issues associated with rehired employees, we considered some of the issues to be significant. In addition, we noted that applicants with prior IRS conduct and performance issues sometimes repeated past behaviors within 19 months of returning to work at the IRS. … Given the substantial threat of identity theft and the magnitude of sensitive information that the IRS holds, hiring employees of high integrity is essential to maintaining public trust in tax administration and safeguarding taxpayer information.”

Citation is made to a previously issued TIGTA report which had likewise found that the IRS had been hiring prior employees with substantiated conduct or performance issues.

A Table of Examples of Significant Prior IRS Conduct Issues for Rehired Former Employees shows multiple categories, including the rehiring of former IRS employees who had Falsified Employment Forms, Official Documents, or Unofficial Documents. Two rehired employees had repetitively falsified employment forms by omitting prior convictions or terminations. One rehired employee had several misdemeanors for theft and a felony for possession of a forgery device, and another rehired employee had threatened his or her co-workers.

So, you are advised by the IRS that your information is secure, that you are to provide all of your information, and as far as personal security when at an IRS office – just trust the government. After all, you don’t know anything about the IRS employee, but the IRS does.

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