IRS crackdown on wealthy tax cheats brings in millions of dollars in early stages

On today's Federal Newscast: Several workers at the Government Publishing Office have filed a lawsuit, alleging a pervasive workplace culture of racism and sexi...

  • The IRS said an effort to crackdown on wealthy tax cheats is paying off. The agency is in the process of recovering $122 million from 100 such cases. The IRS said that is just the beginning, and that it has assigned employees to tackle 1,600 similar cases. IRS enforcement is prioritizing cases that involve millionaires who owe at least $250,000 in taxes. The IRS is launching these cases under the Inflation Reduction Act, which gave the agency billions of dollars to rebuild its workforce and modernize its legacy IT systems over the next decade.
  • Former temporary and seasonal feds may get a shot at making catch-up contributions for retirement. Many temporary federal workers eventually transition to permanent employment in government, but currently, seasonal feds cannot make retirement contributions until after that transition. House lawmakers said there is a disparity for these employees, who often have to work longer than their colleagues to earn the same retirement benefits. The bipartisan Congress members have now reintroduced the Federal Retirement Fairness Act to try to correct that disparity. The bill would let seasonal federal employees who convert to full-time government work later make retirement contributions from their time as temporary feds.
    (Federal Retirement Fairness Act - Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.))
  • The Biden administration is kicking off the first update to the national cyber incident response plan in seven years. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Office of the National Cyber Director will begin gathering feedback from private and public sector cyber experts to revamp the National Cyber Incident Response Plan (NCIRP). CISA said it will lean on the Joint Cyber Defense Collaboration to help ensure it addresses significant changes in policy and cyber operations since 2016, when the Department of Homeland Security initially released the incident response plan. CISA said its goal is for the NCIRP to provide an agile, actionable framework for any organization responding to a cyber incident. CISA expects to finish this update by the end of 2024.
  • The Labor Department is investigating the Postal Service after a payroll error hit more than 50,000 of its employees. A Labor Department spokesperson told Federal News Network that its Wage and Hour Division has an open and ongoing investigation into USPS. Some impacted rural letter carriers said they waited nearly a month before receiving some or all of their September 1 paycheck. Several rural carriers, waiting on their back pay, contacted their state Labor Departments before the federal Labor Department got involved. USPS told Congress that a payroll programming error last month led to a significant number of timecards being rejected during processing.
  • President Joe Biden wants to allocate $50 billion to invest in the defense industrial base. This funding comes as part of a larger budget request totaling $105 billion, following Biden's address to the nation on Thursday night. The request also includes funding to Ukraine and Israel. The defense industry funding will help expand production and boost the economy.
    (Defense Industrial Base could get $50B in funding - Office of Management and Budget)
  • Leadership at the Government Publishing Office is coming under fire from a handful of agency employees. Several GPO workers have filed a lawsuit against the agency director, alleging that he did not take action to reprimand a worker who participated in what they say were discriminatory actions against colleagues. The employees also allege a pervasive workplace culture of racism and sexism at GPO. In the lawsuit, the employees are calling for financial compensation and an anti-harassment training program for all GPO staff.
  • More than 40 standard forms used by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council are much more accessible. The FAR Council made six changes as part of the Biden administration's efforts to remove barriers to improve access for underserved communities. The visual changes include replacing text written using all capital letters with more standard text, standardizing point sizes and fonts, and increasing the space between the lines to make it easier to read. The FAR Council expects these changes to go into effect by the end of the calendar year.
  • The Defense Department will publish its first national defense industrial strategy by December. The strategy will create a guide for how the DoD will prioritize and modernize the defense industrial base. Laura Taylor-Kale, assistant secretary of Defense for industrial base policy, said this plan will help industry provide the tools and capabilities the department needs, like helping create resilient supply chains and workforce readiness, while speeding and scaling production.
  • The Marine Corps has identified a service member who was murdered at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina last week. Officials said 19-year-old Austin Schwenk of Onslow County, North Carolina was involved in a shooting incident in a barracks room last Wednesday. Another Marine, who officials have not identified, was arrested later that evening. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is handling the homicide investigation.

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