The only sector during the recession that is growing is the public sector. How many caught this story yesterday in USA Today?
By Dennis Cauchon
The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal salary data.
Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months — and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.
Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.
The highest-paid federal employees are doing best of all on salary increases. Defense Department civilian employees earning $150,000 or more increased from 1,868 in December 2007 to 10,100 in June 2009, the most recent figure available.
When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.
Well it isn’t going to stop anytime soon, and now the IRS is getting into the groove since TurboTax Timmie, Barney and Company have made a priority of chasing down tax evaders who use offshore accounts. The insanity of giving the IRS $387 million to chase down $13 Trillion in hidden offshore accounts instead of changing the tax code so that the wealthy would actually invest it in our economy is dazzling. Add to that the brazen audacity of a tax cheat implementing this plan, and one has a recipe for expatriation.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new Internal Revenue Service unit set up to catch rich tax cheats hiding their wealth in complex business entities is rapidly taking shape with the hiring of hundreds of employees.
The IRS high wealth unit, part of a broader effort to combat international tax evasion, is focusing on “the entire web of business entities controlled by a high wealth individual,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman told a tax conference this week.
Another IRS official told Reuters “hundreds” of people have already been hired to staff the new unit, including some from within the agency.
“We have drawn top talent within the IRS that have expertise involving wealthy individuals as well as examination of their related entities,” said Mae Lew, an IRS special counsel.
The high-wealth unit is focusing on trusts, real estate investments, privately held companies and other business entities controlled by rich individuals.
While use of sophisticated legal structures can be legal, in other instances they “mask aggressive tax strategies,” Shulman said.
Tax authorities in Japan, Germany and the UK have also created similar units.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a $387 million boost for the IRS for the fiscal year that started October 1, in part to fund the high-wealth unit. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure on Sunday. (emphasis mine)
I think I may have mentioned the fact that these Sunday votes were going to become regular occurrences since the Democrats have to push through as much legislation as possible before we start firing them in 2010.
NEW GLOBAL FOCUS, JOINT CORPORATE AUDITS
The IRS is also opening new criminal offices in Beijing, Panama City and Sydney to focus on funds flowing out of Europe and into Asia, in part because of a heightened focus on international enforcement in Europe.
The goal is to get those up and running during this fiscal year, which ends September 30, according to Barry Shott, IRS deputy commissioner for international issues for large and midsized business.
At the center of the agency’s offshore effort is its legal cases against Swiss banking giant UBS AG. UBS agreed to turn over nearly 5,000 names of individual American clients and paid $780 million to settle a criminal case for aiding tax evasion.