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After controversial year, IRS employees set to receive bonuses

A decision by the Internal Revenue Service to pay out millions of dollars in bonuses to its employees has drawn the ire of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

According to the Washington Post, the agency will dole out $62.5 million to boost employee morale, a figure still lower than the $89.1 million paid in the 2012 fiscal year. The bonuses have been reinstated after being suspended in July due to budget cuts mandated by the sequester.

The payouts will be capped at 1 percent of salaries, a concession by the National Treasury Employees Union that had previously negotiated a cap of 1.75 percent.

But the move has outraged Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, because of a controversy that erupted last year after IRS director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner admitted to giving extra scrutiny to applications for 501(c)4 applications from conservative groups.

“It’s hard to think of a group of people less deserving of bonuses than IRS employees,” Hatch said in a statement Monday. “I understand that not every IRS worker was responsible, but this just is the wrong signal to send the American people who were rightly outraged by how this agency treated people for their political views.”

Hatch said he plans to discuss the bonuses with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “especially since his predecessor rightly took the step of cancelling these bonuses.”

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