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William Shatner blasts US tax spoof video

2013-03-27 19:35
William Shatner
Los Angeles - Star Trek actor William Shatner has accused US tax authorities of wasting tens of thousands of dollars on a spoof video based on the cult television space show.

Shatner - who played the Starship Enterprise's commander Captain James T Kirk in the series - took to Twitter to slam the video, which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has now apologized for.

"So I watched that IRS video. I am appalled at the utter waste of US tax dollars," Shatner wrote to his 1.4 million followers on the microblogging service.

In the six-minute video, actors playing the key characters from Star Trek, including Captain Kirk and Spock, exchange tax-based jokes.

IRS issues a statement

"Back in Russia, I dreamed someday I'd be rich and famous," says one crew member in the parody, to which another replies: "Me too... That's why I became a public servant."

The IRS said the video was made in 2010, along with another one based on sitcom Gilligan's Island, at a combined cost of $60 000, to be used at an IRS training and leadership conference.

The IRS apologized for the video, which it said eventually played at 400 events, according to the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

"The space parody video from 2010 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 said in its official statement.

"In addition, the IRS has instituted tough new standards for videos to prevent situations similar to the 2010 video," they further wrote.

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