The Internal Revenue Service is reducing taxpayer services to historically low levels just as President Barack Obama's health law will make filing a federal tax return more complicated for millions of families.
A Treasury Department investigation concluded that previous bonuses totaling $2.8 million had gone to more than 2,800 employees found to have broken agency rules of conduct, including 1,100 employees who owed back taxes.
The head of the Internal Revenue Service brushed aside accusations Monday that the agency has obstructed investigations into the targeting of tea party and other political groups, even as Republican lawmakers questioned his credibility.
Budget cuts and new responsibilities are straining the Internal Revenue Service's ability to police tax returns. This year, the IRS will have fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s.