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According to a highly critical government report on the Internal Revenue Service recently, employees who were caught cheating on tax laws are very unlikely to be fired. That is in spite of the fact that a federal law expressly requires the head of the Internal Revenue Service to fire cheating employees. The report finds however, that the agency fired only approximately 39% employees who were found to violate tax laws.

The report couldn't come at a worse time for the Internal Revenue Service. The agency is already battling not just funding crunches, and staffing shortages, but also a number of questions about its operations. Public confidence in the agency is at an all-time low, and the agency's reputation is damaged.

The report says that the Internal Revenue Service looked away when many IRS employees violated tax laws willfully. The kind of cheating reported included missing tax deadlines, overstating expenses, and claiming tax credits for first-time homebuyers, even without buying a house. According to the report, over the past decade, the Internal Revenue Service has caught 1,580 of its employees in violation of tax laws. However, in 61% of the cases, the employee was simply given access to counseling sessions, or was reprimanded for the offense. In other cases, they were suspended. In the remaining cases, they were fired.

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