IRS is having trouble outing tax cheats under its own roof

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  • Willful tax cheats who work for the IRS need a little more attention from management. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found the IRS doesn’t always follow its own procedures for reviewing and adjudicating such cases. It’s legally required to fire employees for willfully evading tax obligations. But TIGTA found the IRS doesn’t always follow through on cases of missed filings or under-reported income, to find out if they were more than mere mistakes. In some cases it overlooked repeat offenders. (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration)
  • The Office of Personnel Management confirmed 2019 federal pay raises will come today or early next week for many. But some employees who experienced some sort of intervening personnel action between now and the beginning of the year will have to wait longer as those changes must be made manually by federal payroll providers. Some may not see the retroactive pay raise until May 20. (Federal News Network)
  • Thrift Savings Plan participants now have the option to add more security to their online accounts. Two-factor authentication is now available to TSP participants. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board said participants can get a one-time verification code by email or text each time they log into their online TSP accounts. The TSP said participants must first validate an email address or cell phone number before they can use two-factor authentication. They can validate their information online through their profile settings on TSP.gov. (Thrift Savings Plan)
  • The Blended Retirement System may harm the retention of officers in the Army Reserve in the long run. A new RAND Corporation study said the payout for officers saving for retirement isn’t enough to keep them in the force. The payoff is especially worse for those staying in the force longer. (RAND Corporation)
  • The IRS released its plans for a six-year technology overhaul. Its Integrated Modernization Business Plan looks to update the agency’s legacy IT, to improve the taxpayer experience, strengthen tax enforcement, streamline operations and enhance cybersecurity operations. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, in congressional hearings last week, said the modernization business plan would cost up to $2.7 billion. For fiscal 2020, it will cost $290 million. (Department of the Treasury)
  • There will soon be an updated version of the national artificial intelligence research and development strategic plan. Lynne Parker, assistant director of AI at the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, said the update will reflect comments the office received last fall. It will replace the plan submitted in 2016 under the Obama Administration. (Federal News Network)
  • The Pentagon has planned a major uptick in spending in cloud computing in 2020. Newly released details in DoD’s IT budget showed the department’s plans to spend $656 million on cloud services next year — almost 17% more than in 2019. Almost all of the increase would go toward commercial cloud providers. The department will spend money on its own, in-house cloud services to stay flat, at about $294 million. (Department of Defense)
  • The Office of Management and Budget’s implementation rate of recommendations from the Government Accountability Office is significantly lower than the governmentwide average. GAO said over the past four years across the government, agencies have addressed 77% of its recommendations. OMB, on the other hand, only completed 61% of auditor’s suggestions. As of January 2019, OMB had 148 open recommendations. Of those open recommendations, 31 are considered a priority, which is an increase of four since April 2018. GAO said its adding 12 new recommendations related to developing an inventory of federal programs, improving oversight of information IT investments, reducing governmentwide improper payments and improving fraud risk management. (Government Accountability Office)
  • Congress wants more data, more quickly from the Veterans Affairs Department after suicides occur on VA campuses. Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) introduced new legislation calling for VA to share more data about these incidents. The bill would require VA to tell Congress about the suicide and its location no later than seven days after it happens. The legislation also asked for more details about the veteran’s enrollment status and interactions with the VA. House VA Committee Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) has endorsed the bill. (Rep. Max Rose)

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