IRS Under Fire Over “Star Trek” Video Spoof

The Internal Revenue Service spent thousands on a "Star Trek" parody video the agency used for training at a 2010 employee conference, NBC's "Today" show reported. The agency said in a statement to NBC that the video "is not reflective of overall IRS video efforts, which provide critical information to taxpayers and cost-effective employee training critical to running the nation’s tax system.” The IRS defended, though, another video parody of "Gilligan's Island," which it said provided valuable training at a fraction of the cost of training people in person. The two videos that cost taxpayers $60,000 to make came under sharp criticism by Republican Rep. Charles Boustany, Chairman of the House of Ways and Means oversight subcommittee. The IRS also noted that it had made dozens of more straightforward videos in the past, claiming their efforts saved money.

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