IRS employees enjoying the high life, burned through $1.4 million taxpayer dollars, spending the cash on luxury travel and lodgings in 2015.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: As noted below, this story is about 27 specific IRS employees who were discovered to have spent $1.4 million taxpayer dollars on luxury travel and lodging – it is NOT a report on all IRS personnel.
The Senate Finance Committee found that the money spent by 27 IRS employees who traveled a total of 125 days between them, equates to a cost of $52,800 for each trip taken in 2015.
One employee, with an obvious taste for high end living, racked up $72,544 in hotel costs; spending $43,726 at the Ritz Carlton in Arlington, Virginia, alone.
Another employee spent almost half of a year living in the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., costing taxpayers $38,799.
Senator’s Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) and Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), the committee’s chairman and ranking member wrote in May 2016 to the IRS stating,
“The lack of effort by IRS employees to exercise prudence and economy when utilizing taxpayer funds is concerning, and more importantly, a direct apparent violation of the [Federal Travel Regulation].”
The Free Beacon reported on some of the Committee findings, which included;
The IRS employees, instead of opting for hotels, spent money renting million dollar townhouses and expensive apartments.
One employee spent $4,950 per month on a $1.07 million dollar townhouse in Arlington, Virginia.
Another employee rented out an apartment in downtown Chicago that overlooked the Chicago River for a rate of $4,605 per month.
Aside from lodging costs, IRS employees spent money on dry cleaning, cable and Internet bills, and taxi rides, including a $100 Uber Black car service tab for an airport ride.
One employee spent $1,513 on dry cleaning, another spent $178 per month for a cable bundle that included premium channels, and another employee spent $1,185 for a monthly metro pass—which exceeded the daily commuting cost from their lodging to the IRS headquarters.”
The committee concluded that, “The lodging selected by these employees often appeared to be excessive and inappropriate.”
The committee report also went on to say that there were many instances of missing vouchers and receipts and that the IRS has consistently failed to take any corrective steps toward curtailing travel and lodging expenses.
The IRS responded to the report with this statement, “The IRS appreciates the recommendations of the committee, and we will be providing a response to the committee in the very near future. We will be closely reviewing the report.”
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