The Corner

IRS Concedes Star Trek Parody Video Was Waste of Taxpayer Money

The Internal Revenue Service apologized on Friday evening for spending taxpayer funds to produce a six-minute Star Trek parody starring IRS workers. The video was shown at a 2010 training and leadership conference and, along with a Gilligan’s Island–themed video, cost $60,000 to produce. (Investigators on the House Ways and Means Committee determined that the latter video served a legitimate training purpose, and it was not released.)

The video, which was filmed in the IRS’s Maryland studio, makes use of an elaborate set and costumes to depict a scene in which the spaceship is hurtling toward the planet “Notax.” 

In a statement to the Associated Press, the IRS said that it “recognizes and takes seriously our obligation to be good stewards of government resources and taxpayer dollars,” and acknowledges that “there is no mistaking that this video did not reflect the best stewardship of resources.” The agency vowed that steps had been taken to “ensure that all IRS videos are handled in a judicious manner that makes wise use of taxpayer funds while ensuring a tone and theme appropriate for the nation’s tax system.”

In its defense, the IRS maintained that the video was a “well-intentioned, lighthearted introduction to an important conference during a difficult period for the IRS.” 

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