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IRS spent $10,000 on video spoof of reality show 'The Apprentice'

September 09, 2013|By Shan Li

Even the Internal Revenue Service likes to splurge sometimes.

The agency, which has come under fire for its spending practices and targeting of certain groups, recently released a parody video styled after "The Apprentice," the reality television show starring business mogul and hair icon Donald Trump.

Price tag for making the video: $10,000

The four minute, 10 second video was filmed and produced for a 2011 conference of the Small Business/Self Employed Division of the IRS and includes an actor in the role of Trump, complete with puffy wig.

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Various leaders of the IRS division are depicted in a darkly lit boardroom pitching ideas, ironically, for cutting the division's travel budget. To which faux-Trump responds with his now iconic line: "You're fired."

The video is one of several that have raised questions about the IRS' spending. Other short films, made for training purposes and costing thousands of dollars, include spoofs of classic TV shows "Star Trek" and "Gilligan's Island."

The House Ways and Means Committee is investigating the IRS over its spending and looking into allegations that the agency gave certain political groups extra scrutiny.

The IRS said in a statement to CNN that the video dates back to a "prior era" and no longer reflects "the stringent policies the IRS now has in place to ensure that all training videos are made at the lowest possible cost."

"Simply put, theses videos would not be made at the IRS today," the statement said.

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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