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IRS Theater Presents: Star Trek

There’s a new reason to hate the Internal Revenue Service. With your tax dollars, the agency took a foray into the Star Trek fan film industry.

There are dozens of Star Trek fan films online, lovingly crafted by nerds with cameras, video editing software and whatever funds they can muster.

The IRS took the same approach, but instead of scrimping and saving, the production funds came out of the nation’s wallet. The agency showed the short film before a 2010 training conference. Coupled with a Gilligan’s Island training video, the agency spent about $60,000 total.

Gilligan’s Island didn’t receive much flak, as the agency said it introduced a longer 12-hour training sequence.

However, in the case of Star Trek, Congress found little training value in the video and reprimanded the agency. Instead, they found awful puns and inappropriately high production value. It won jeers from Congress.

 Even William Shatner, the original Captain Kirk, had harsh words for this ill-advised video.

“So I watched that IRS video. I am appalled at the utter waste of US tax dollars,” Shatner tweeted.

The good news: IRS claims they won’t make videos like Star Trek again.

Leave the fan videos to the nerds. They have more heart, they’re more entertaining and they don’t waste tax dollars.


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