Yes, you read the headline correctly – that’s 528 million of spending per each page of the new Omnibus budget bill.
So much for either party caring anything about reducing the size or cost of the imperial Federal government.
It’s interesting to see just what piece of this continent-sized pie that the IRS got for their budget. However, it may be helpful to look at some of our past posts that demonstrate just how well IRS has used its budget in prior years.
Take a look at these links and see if you believe they deserve a larger budget:
- $3,152 to rent a popcorn machine and to buy prizes for an employee event, including bandanas, stuffed animals, sunglasses and stovepipe hats.
- $418 for novelty decorations and swag at managers’ meetings, including kazoos, bathtub toys and “Thomas the Tank Engine” wristbands.
- $119 for Nerf footballs that were never used and were found stored in a filing cabinet.
- Other items that, as a family friendly firm, we won’t mention.
Since you helped pay $70,000 for these movies, we’ve included them in the above link for you to watch.
So when the dust settles here’s what the IRS obtained (from Forbes.com):
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finally gets funding. After years of cuts, the bill allocates $11.4 billion to IRS, $196 million more than last year. The money is to be used to improve customer service and fund a “business systems modernization program” meant to bring IRS systems into the 21st century. Also included in that number is an extra $320 million “to be used solely for carrying out” the new tax law passed in December.
As a small consolation prize, IRS has been ordered to spend a portion of the new budget to improve their customer service.
These requirements include:
- Requiring an employee training program focusing on, among other things, “dealing courteously with taxpayers.”
- Implementing policies and procedures to safeguard the confidentiality of taxpayer information and protect against identity theft.
- Increasing facilities and staff to “provide sufficient and effective 1–800 help line service for taxpayers.”
- Barring spending on videos “unless the Service-Wide Video Editorial Board determines in advance that making the video is appropriate, taking into account the cost, topic, tone, and purpose of the video.”
Prohibiting the use of agency funds “to target citizens of the United States for exercising any right guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States” or “to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs.”
- Banning the IRS from using funds to “to issue, revise, or finalize any regulation, revenue ruling, or other guidance not limited to a particular taxpayer relating to the standard which is used to determine whether an organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare for purposes of section 501(c)(4). In English, this means no more delaying and lying to the Tea Party and other conservative organizations applying for tax-exempt status.
You can read the entire bill here