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WASTE WATCH: IRS Blows 64K In Tax Dollars On Swag
WASTE WATCH -- The tax man has been buying swag for himself at your expense. Thursday morning, the IRS was in trouble at a Congressional hearing, AGAIN!
A report just released found the IRS blew more than $64,000 of your tax dollars, on a swag bag full of what many would call junk, everything from a leather notebook holder to a picture frame to a plastic toy.
"This clearly was not for business and government purposes. It was a party," Congressman Mike Turner (Dayton-R) said at the hearing.
Turner was one of several Congressman who grilled the IRS about a 2010 conference that cost more than $4 million.
We decided to show some of the items to taxpayers who helped pay for it. They weren't impressed.
"I think that's a lot of money, a lot of money spent on swag bags," said Tracy Ross of Dayton.
"I'm just totally amazed how much is wasted that we never know about," said Michael Morris of Dayton.
Until now, a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed the IRS had serious "...management control weaknesses and questionable spending..."
In fact, the IRS paid for the conference, and swag bags, with money intended for hiring employees.
"This shouldn't have happened and it shouldn't happen again," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio-D).
Many people could understand getting some of the stuff at a conference, like pens or notepads, but what really raises an eyebrow is the plastic fish that squirts water.
"Um, what's the point? What's the purpose of it?" asked Ross.
That's what lawmakers wanted to know, too.
"Could you please tell me what were these items for and why did they get a plastic squirting fish?" questioned Turner.
An IRS representative responded, "I honestly have no idea what the plastic squirting fish was."
The IRS said at the hearing that expensive swag bags and conferences wouldn't happen today. Of course, the agency was just busted by the Inspector General.
The report issued recommendations to the IRS "...to ensure transparency and accountability in all future conferences." The IRS agreed to them all and said they'd already started taking "corrective actions."
If you suspect local or state government is wasting your money, we want to investigate. Call our Waste Watch Tip Line at 937-262-1426. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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