As far as I know, an IRS employee can’t be fired just for leaving you on hold for 3 hours, or for giving you bad information that contradicts what the previous IRS employee told you, or for rejecting your Offer in Compromise (as long as procedures are followed). Of course, there could be additional actions and circumstances that might warrant termination, but generally speaking, these are not adequate grounds.
But according to rules established during the 1998 tax code reform, an IRS employee is supposed to be fired for the following actions unless the Commish determines that the employee should be given a second chance due to the presence of mitigating factors:
- Purposely failing to obtain signatures required prior to certain asset seizures;
- Lying under oath relevant to matters involving a taxpayer account;
- destroying or falsifying evidence relevant to matters involving a taxpayer account;
- Assault or battery of a taxpayer or fellow employee (that’s comforting, knowing that an IRS employee will likely get fired for cold-cocking a taxpayer) — but only if there is a conviction;
- Purposely violating a provision in the IRC, Regs, IRM, or internal policies for the purpose of retaliating against or harassing a taxpayer or fellow employee;
- Willful failure to file a tax return or underreporting income on a tax return…
There are others, but this list is getting tedious. It’s funny to me that some of these prohibitions are related to actions against other IRS employees. Don’t they get along over at the IRS, or what?
A House Committee has introduced a bill that would add another bullet point to this list above. H.R. 709, the Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act, would require the firing of IRS employees who act in their official capacity to target entities or individuals for personal or political reasons. And presumably any offending employee would have to be fired regardless of how merciful the Commissioner wants to be. Thank you Robert Wood for the info on H.R. 709.
In the meantime, I’ll keep an eye out for the Prevent Stupidity at the IRS Act.