expenses. The IRS spent about $50 million on 220 conferences from 2010 to 2012. The costs appear to be excessive by any standard. I can understand the need for
conferences. If any agency needs to improve morale, I suppose the IRS is near
the top of the list. It certainly is not America’s favorite agency. What I do not understand is how top leadership can say they did not realize the cost. Who
approves the budgets and the expenses? Even if top leadership were not involved in the planning, they did attend. As an attendee, when they witnessed the excess, why did they not ask the simple question-“How much does all of this cost?”
I am not sure that Los Vegas is the best place for a government agency to host a conference. It is a fun town and I like to visit. However, it is a sex oriented, sin city that caters to men. That would not send a good message to the female attendees. It is rather sexist, I think. There is gambling everywhere and lots of booze. That type of entertainment and gambling have income tax implications. It is also a place where conference attendees can easily get into trouble and embarrass any organization. I can think of many other locations that focus on fun and education without the additional distractions; places like Steamboat Springs or Tampa.
Danny Werfel will testify to a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee about the IG’s report. That should be interesting.