The IRS Star Trek Parody that American Taxpayers Spent Over $50,167 to Make
On May 31, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration produced an IRS audit. Among other excesses, the audit highlights a 4.1 million dollar conference, “primarily paid through unused funding originally intended for hiring enforcement employees.”
During the audit, investigators found that at least $50,167 was spent on the conference for videos. That sum was at least partially devoted to a Star Trek parody designed to complement the theme of the conference: “Leading Into the Future.”
The auditors were able to discover a few string things about the video:
- A set for the short film was built in Maryland at a cost of $2,400
- The IRS “actors” spent roughly 52 hours making the film
- The actors were paid at least $50/hour for their time on set totaling at least $3,100 in staff time for the whole production.
- No receipts were found detailing fees, for script, lighting, costumes (it appears they were purchased privately) or hair and make-up.
- The figures for both movies (read on) do not include pay for time expended “by executives and managers when filming.”
The Audit also found that the IRS had invested in a dance video called the “SB/SE Shuffle” (see below).
The audit estimates that “SB/SE Shuffle” cost at least $1,591.
All of this information pertains to expenditures at one conference. The audit found that between 2010 and 2012 there were 225 conferences costing a total of $48,631,799.