TIGTA Recommendations Need More Teeth

It would seem that TIGTA’s “recommendations” to the IRS have fallen on deaf ears at times.  Perhaps TIGTA needs to be given greater authority so it can lay down some consequences for non-compliance.  Taxpayers face stinging consequences like the bank levy and wage garnishment for failing to abide by our tax laws, but all the IRS has to fear is yet another unfavorable audit report — no more than a slap on the hand.

The Whistleblower program, as we know it, was established in 2007; the same year a separate Whistleblower Office was created.  Two years later TIGTA identified some problems with the program and made its recommendations.  In an audit report made public today, TIGTA states that the IRS still hasn’t complied with the changes that were suggested in 2009.

These are some of the recommendations that the IRS ignored:

  • establish timeliness standards for processing of whistleblower claims
  • establish a quality review process
  • correction of inaccurate data revealed in the 2009 audit

By far my favorite snippet from the audit summary:

“In the prior report [2009], TIGTA found that information captured on three inventory systems was inaccurate. In this review [2012], auditors determined that employees manually transferred claim information from the three systems into a single inventory control system, Entellitrak.  However, IRS officials did not ensure steps were taken to reconcile and correct the inaccurate information that was reported in our Fiscal Year 2009 review.”

This is too good!  The way I read this it’s like the IRS swept the problem under the proverbial rug.  Instead of fixing the problem, they just moved it to a different spot.  This is a familiar approach to problem-solving that trickles down to the IRS call center employees.  They’re punching in and punching out with no real sense of accountability for the quality of their work.

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