I.R.S. Spent $4.1 Million on a Single Conference, Audit Finds

Jonathan Weisman
New York Times
June 4, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service spent $4.1 million on a single conference in Southern California in 2010, paying top dollar for luxury suites, $27,500 for a keynote speaker and tens of thousands of dollars for gifts to the 2,600 people who attended, according to a newly released Treasury Department audit.

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But the audit also shows that such expenditures fell dramatically when the Obama White House clamped down on travel and conferences as budgets tightened and a scandal erupted over how much the General Services Administration had spent on conferences. I.R.S. spending on such meetings fell to $4.8 million in the 2012 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, from $37.5 million in fiscal 2010.

The audit, conducted by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, has given Republicans a new reason to be outraged at the nation’s tax-collecting agency, which is already under fire for targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny when applying for tax-exempt status.

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