IRS to punish workers for accepting free party food


The US Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, DC.


Saul Loeb

Party's over at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Meaning, no more party food, guys. Seriously. The IRS is placing two workers on leave after finding they said accepted food at a private event held alongside a IRS conference in 2010, according to the Associated Press.

It's unclear why the two were still hungry given that the IRS had already splashed out $4 million for the conference, according to Fox News. Outcry is growing after it was revealed on Tuesday that the agency spent about $50 million on such conferences between 2010 and 2012.

This is just the latest blow to an already scandalized agency, with the IRS still reeling from a government watchdog report that accused the agency of singling out right-of-center organizations for additional auditing and greater tax scrutiny.

The controversy lead to uproar in Washington and a shake-up at the IRS, which now has a new commissioner, Danny Werfel, who will be briefing lawmakers on developments on Thursday. 

The two IRS officials under investigation reportedly took in $1,100 worth of free food and "other items," unidentified congressional aides told AP. It was not immediately clear what those "other items" might be, because that is a lot of money just for food.

An IRS statement on Wednesday said the agency "has started the process to remove the employees pending a further review."