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WATCHDOG EXCLUSIVE! IRS doles out $92 million in employee bonuses

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More than $92 million in bonuses averaging $5,500 per employee have been handed out by IRS executives to thousands of the tax agency’s employees since 2009, according to data obtained by The Washington Examiner.

The average annual salary of the employees receiving at least one bonus during the four-year period between 2009 and 2012 was slightly less than $94,000, indicating that the extra tax dollars mostly went to managers and executives eligible for performance-based incentives.

The IRS’s overall workforce includes more than 97,000 employees. According to the data, which the agency provided in response to the newspaper’s Freedom of Information Act request, 16,910 of those named got at least a nominal bonus, including one in Ogden, Utah, who received two cents.

The agency also withheld the names of an unknown number of IRS law enforcement officials who received bonuses, though it did release the amounts of the bonuses paid to them.

The largest individual bonus was for former IRS Commissioner Richard E. Byrd for $60,270.

On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner reported that Lois Lerner, the IRS executive who made public her agency’s improperly singling out of conservative Tea Party groups seeking non-profit exemptions was given more than $42,000 in bonuses during the four years.

Yesterday, President Obama "fired" Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, who reportedly had previously planned to resign the position and leave the agency this summer. Obama is replacing Miller with Daniel Werfel of the Office of Management and Budget, again in an acting capacity.

Today, it was announced that Joseph Grant, who headed the agency's tax exemption division, is also resigning. Grant received three bonuses totalling $83,950 between 2010 and 2012. The bonuses were in addition to Grant's annual salary of $177,000.

See the accompanying spreadsheet below for information on the 16,910 IRS employees who received bonuses.

Washington Examiner staff writers Kelly Cohn and Jennifer Peebles contributed to this story.

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Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner