WASHINGTON — An internal memorandum circulated through the Internal Revenue Service on Thursday reportedly informed employees, many of whom looked crestfallen, that this year’s “Tax Bacchanal” would not be going forward. “In light of increased oversight,” the memo reads, “‘TB 2013’ is postponed until further notice. Please hand in your orgy dance cards to your immediate supervisor.”
Marjorie Wilson, an IRS accountant, said she understands the political motivations behind the decision, but she “had really been looking forward” to this year’s event and “there’s just no way” she’ll be able to drink all the Goldschläger she purchased by herself.
“I mean, if everyone’s this pissed about the California conference, there’s no way they’d be able to deal with ‘TB,’” Wilson says. “Still, what a waste. We’ll never get the deposit back on all those nude harpists. And then there’s that cute guy from down the hall – I was really looking forward to cross-referencing his 1099 sources with accounts receivable, if you know what I mean.”
In addition to a scandal involving the targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, the IRS is currently under congressional investigation for $49 million in conference spending between 2010 and 2012. Of particular interest to lawmakers and the taxpayers who foot the bill was a $4.1 million conference in Anaheim, Calif., that featured expensive gifts, tony hotel upgrades and Star Trek-themed parody videos.
The Anaheim event, however, would reportedly have been dwarfed by “TB ’13,” which had an operating budget of nearly $10 million and a theme called “Tax and Sinned.” The five-drink minimum topless gala had been set to feature a maze made entirely of feathers, diamond martini glasses and a special Cirque du Soleil team also trained as sex workers.
“In hindsight,” said Faris Fink, an IRS official called before Congress on Thursday, “many of the expenses that were incurred should have been more closely scrutinized or not have been incurred at all.” Referencing the 2010 Star Trek mess, in which he played Spock, Fink told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that “[the IRS] would not hold this same type of meeting today.”
Fink then folded his arms, concealing a hand stamp.