It is no secret that the IRS will be completely understaffed for the upcoming tax season. I have talked about it before and am reminded whenever I call the tax preparer hotline and wait on hold for over two hours. After the budget was cut and hiring was lessened, it would seem that things could not get much worse for the IRS. Oh how we were wrong!
A new report has surfaced that states hundreds of former IRS employees with documented conduct or performance issues were rehired. Hmm, OK. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were fired for minor violations. Oh what’s that? Over 100 employees were rehired after having documented tax issues? Some even willfully neglected to file their returns? It could be me, but I do not want to work with IRS employees who enforce tax laws, yet fail to comply with the laws themselves. These employees clearly violated IRS rules (and even the law in some instances) and were justifiable let go. Then, were rehired in hopes that they were transformed and would be a model employee? I understand the IRS’s budget is declining, but these rehires have been occurring since 2007!
Now, I will play devil’s advocate for a second and assume that the IRS has rehired thousands of employees and we are only hearing about the ones with conduct issues. However, if in a former employee’s file there is the note that states “DO NOT REHIRE” and they are subsequently rehired, how can that be justified? This employee went AWOL for over 300 work hours. This means even though the IRS hired someone to do a job, no one was there to pull their weight. The IRS cannot afford to hire these types of employees, especially in a time where they are understaffed. As a business owner, I would not rehire someone that was rightfully let go for misconduct or violation of company policy and I would expect the same from other businesses.