An IRS conference in 2010, for which the agency produced a spoof 'Star Trek' video, has become the latest flashpoint in the debate over government waste. The video was only one questionable expense.
The theme for the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division meeting in question was “Leading into the Future,” so agency officials thought it was apropos to write a 6-minute scripted presentation that featured division leaders acting in a “tax-themed parody,” the inspector general audit said. The video was filmed on a mock set of the Starship Enterprise constructed at the agency’s New Carrollton, Md., audio-vision studio.
“Employees purchased the costumes using personal funds,” the IG report concluded.
Look, we’re reporting this as straight as we can, all right? So don’t go making jokes about going boldly where no deduction has gone before, or setting tax tables to “stun.”
The actual video featured a voyage to the planet NoTax, where “chaos rules over order,” according to the script. There’s also exploration of off-planet tax shelters.
The Small Business/Self-Employed Division did not break out the cost of making this epic, per se. But the IG figured that it took about 62 hours of staff time, at a total cost of $3,100. The set cost $2,400.