Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Newly released IRS video shows employees dancing

This image from the IRS video shows employees practicing their dance moves.

Internal Revenue Service

This image from the IRS video shows employees practicing their dance moves.

WASHINGTON — In the latest black eye for the Internal Revenue Service, the agency provided Congress on Friday with another video featuring its employees, this one showing about a dozen of them line dancing on a stage.

The video of the IRS workers practicing their dance moves, which lasts just under three minutes, comes weeks after it was revealed that agency workers produced two other videos parodying the Star Trek and Gilligan's Island TV shows.

The latest recording cost about $1,600 and was produced to be shown at the end of a 2010 training and leadership conference held in Anaheim, Calif., said IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge. At a time when most government agencies are coping with across-the-board spending cuts by furloughing workers and finding other savings, that conference has become the target of a report a Treasury inspector general plans to release next week.

The report, called "Collected and Wasted: The IRS Spending Culture and Conference Abuses," will be the subject of a hearing Thursday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that panel said Friday.

The IRS is also under fire by lawmakers and the Obama administration for targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status for tough scrutiny between 2010 and 2012. That screening, revealed May 10, has led President Barack Obama to replace the agency's acting chief, and two other top officials have also stepped aside.

All three videos were provided in response to a request by a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La.

"The outrage toward the IRS is only growing stronger," said Boustany, who chairs the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee. "Clearly this is an agency where abuse and waste is the norm and not the exception."

In a written statement, the IRS said the video was "unacceptable and an inappropriate use of government funds." It said the agency has new policies in place "to ensure that taxpayer funds are being used appropriately."

Eldridge said the dance video was recorded at IRS offices in New Carrollton, Md., outside Washington, D.C.

In the video, various workers comment as colleagues practice their dancing in the background to music that sounds like Cupid Shuffle, a 2007 hit by the performer Cupid. In the version obtained by the Associated Press, IRS employees' names have been erased.

At one point, one woman says, "And I thought doing the Star Trek video was humiliating."

That Star Trek video was produced for the same 2010 conference. The agency called the Star Trek video, which lasted six minutes and featured employees dressed as characters from the popular show, a mistake.

In a separate statement, Danny Werfel, the IRS' new acting commissioner, called the 2010 conference "an unfortunate vestige from a prior era."

He added, "While there were legitimate reasons for holding the meeting, many of the expenses associated with it were inappropriate and should not have occurred."

Watch

the video

To see the IRS dance video provided to a congressional committee, go to Links from today's Times at tampabay.com.

Newly released IRS video shows employees dancing 05/31/13 [Last modified: Saturday, June 1, 2013 12:21am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  2. Trump strategist Steve Bannon: No military solution in North Korea

    National

    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."

    Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, has drawn fire from some of Trump's closest advisers. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  4. Dunedin man accused of possessing child pornography

    Crime

    DUNEDIN — A 57-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of intentionally downloading child pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Richard Beal Anger, 57, of Dunedin faces 11 counts of possession of child pornography. [Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Pence cuts short Latin America trip and pressures Chile to sever all ties to North Korea

    Politics

    SANTIAGO, Chile — Vice President Mike Pence is cutting short his Latin America trip by one day to return to Washington for a strategy meeting Friday at Camp David with President Donald Trump and the national security team.

    Vice President Mike Pence urged Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to take a tougher stand against North Korea on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile.