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Concerns over the IRS rehiring workers with past conduct issues

Taxpayer interactions with Internal Revenue Service officers and other IRS employees can involve very high-stakes tax issues. IRS workers can have a lot of power within these interactions. So, what happens in these interactions and how responsibly IRS employees act in their use of this power during the course of them can be very impactful for taxpayers. Skilled tax attorneys can guide taxpayers through these impactful interactions and keep an eye on whether IRS workers cross the line in their case.

Given the major impacts the actions of IRS workers can have on taxpayers, what the IRS does in its hiring processes can be of great significance.

Recently, concerns have been raised over these processes. These concerns regard the IRS rehiring past employees who had performance or misconduct issues.

According to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reports, recent years have seen hundreds of such rehirings. TIGTA has indicated that:

  • From January 2010 to September 2013, the IRS rehired over 800 former employees who had past performance or conduct problems.
  • From January 2015 to March 2016, over 200 former employees with major prior misconduct issues were rehired by the IRS.

An IRS official, in discussions with House subcommittees this week, said that the IRS has been making adjustments to its hiring processes in connection to this issue. Specifically, he reported that the agency has been following suggestions that a TIGTA report made regarding what the IRS should do with its processes in light of concerns regarding such rehirings. According to his statements, the adjustments are on pace to be up and running by month’s end.

He further noted that the agency is trying to address the issue within the constraints of the current hiring standards they are subject to and that it plans to look further into ways to address this issue in the future.

One wonders what impacts the changes the IRS will make will have on how common it is for the IRS to rehire workers who engaged in poor conduct or performance in the past. One also wonders what sorts of implications the issue of the IRS rehiring such employees and how the IRS ultimately deals with it will have for taxpayers. What would you like to see the IRS do regarding this issue?

Source: Federal New Radio, “IRS looks to reverse ‘bad decision-making’ with updated management practices,” Meredith Somers, Oct. 26, 2017

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