A new provision, Section 1203 “Termination of Employment for Misconduct”, was enacted in response to the widespread perception that IRS employees are not held fully accountable for improper conduct affecting taxpayers.
Section 1203 states that an IRS employee must be charged with misconduct and fired, IF there has been a judicial OR final administrative determination that the employee committed any of the following acts or omissions, which are commonly called the “10 Deadly Sins”.
Catch me if you can – 10 Deadly Sins
So just what does it take for an IRS employee to get fired? I have listed the IRS agent Sins below
- Willful failure to obtain the required approval signatures on documents authorizing the seizure of a taxpayer’s home, personal belongings, or business assets
- Providing a false statement under oath with respect to a material matter involving a taxpayer or taxpayer representative
- With respect to a taxpayer, taxpayer representative, or other employee of the Internal Revenue Service, the violation of any right under the Constitution of the United States
Additional termination conditions under established civil rights
- Title VI or VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972;
- the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967;
- the Age Discrimination Act of 1975;
- Section 501 or 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; or
- Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;
- Falsifying or destroying documents to conceal mistakes made by any employee with respect to a matter involving a taxpayer or taxpayer representative;
- Assault or battery on a taxpayer, taxpayer representative, or other employee of the Internal Revenue Service, but only if there is a criminal conviction, or a final judgment by a court in a civil case, with respect to the assault or battery;
- Violations of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Department of Treasury regulations, or policies of the Internal Revenue Service (including the Internal Revenue Manual) for the purpose of retaliating against, or harassing, a taxpayer, taxpayer representative, or other employee of the Internal Revenue Service;
- Willful misuse of the provisions of section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for the purpose of concealing information from a congressional inquiry;
- Willful failure to file any return of tax required under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 on or before the date prescribed therefor (including any extensions), unless such failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect;
- Willful understatement of Federal tax liability, unless such understatement is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, and
- Threatening to audit a taxpayer for the purpose of extracting personal gain or benefit.
The IRS Commissioner has the sole discretion, which he cannot delegate, to determine whether to take a personnel action other than termination for the described acts or omissions. Such determination may not be appealed in any administrative or judicial proceeding.
A Change for the better
Holding IRS employees accountable for their actions is certainly a step in the right direction. Is it a perfect cure to the problem of treating taxpayers unfairly? No. Much more needs to be done before the IRS is truly “user friendly” – if it ever will be.
This new section which requires mandatory removal of an employee upon a judicial or final administrative determination that the employee has committed an act or omission described above.
Not the perfect solution, but….
Over the past number of years IRS employees have begun to act somewhat more polite and responsive to our law firm. Employees know and understand they will now be subject to removal for commission of certain acts or omissions, absent a determination by the Commissioner that a lesser penalty is appropriate.