Officials inside the IRS have reported pay $62.5 million in reinstating employee bonuses in 2013 to boost morale. An internal audit that was done last year revealed that IRS employees intentionally slow-walked applications for tax-exempt status from tea party and conservative groups, and repeatedly asked invasive questions about the parties activities. The IRS remains under investigation from the FBI to determine whether any criminal activity took place during the tea party targeting.
New commissioner for the IRS, John Koskinen, understands that the bonuses are needed to retain good employees and attract new workers in a time of cutbacks, amid the ongoing tea party targeting investigation.
Commissioner Koskinen reversed the decision by previous commissioner, Danny Werfel, to get rid of employee bonuses when President Obama tasked him with cleaning up the IRS after the tea party targeting had come to light. Koskinen said:
This is money best spent on our existing employees,” he said in an email to agency employees. “The performance award payouts are in recognition of that great work done in very trying circumstances. I firmly believe that this investment in our employees will directly benefit taxpayers and the tax system.”
The decision to reinstate employee bonuses is not sitting well with congressional critics up on Capital Hill. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said that, “It’s hard to think of a group of people less deserving of bonuses than IRS employees. Frankly, this is outrageous.”
New commissioner Koskinen has gotten continuous praise from company employees, since taking office in December. The cancellation of employee bonuses was an extremely unpopular decision last year and affected the overall morale of employees.
“IRS Reinstates Employee Bonuses To Boost Morale, In Wake of Tea Party Targeting”