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National Debt

House Passes Bill to Hold Responsible Federal Workers Who Owe Back Taxes

  • August 06, 2012

    This past Tuesday, the House of Representatives took action onholding accountable Federal Government workers who owe taxes to their employer –the Government and you, the taxpayer. By a bipartisan vote of 263-114 the Housesent the bill to the Senate for action. Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) isthe bill’s sponsor and has long sought to hold accountable those who areemployed by taxpayers, but shirk their tax obligations.

    Specifically, the legislation would makeanyone “seriously delinquent” on their taxes, meaning those with a debt forwhich a public lien notice has been filed, ineligible for federal employment. The bill would include those seeking federal contracts andgrants, but exempts uniformed military personnel. But prior to taking actionagainst those individuals, federal agencies would be required to give 60 days’notice before taking action. Workers on a plan to repay back taxes or innegotiations with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would be exempt from theproposed change. Currently, IRS employees can be terminated for non-payment offederal income taxes.

    The Congressman from Utah has cited IRSdata that shows nearly 100,000 Federal civilian employees owed $1 billion inunpaid Federal income taxes in 2009. That number has remained mostly constantsince 2004, but the amount owed has increased nearly 70 percent, from $599.8million, according to the agency.

    This bill is the sort of commonsense,good government initiative taxpayers should be seeing more of from theirelected leaders. Those who are employed in the service of taxpayers have an obligationto live up to the highest standards of our society. That means paying yourtaxes. CapitolWatch supports this initiative to bring about change where therehas been little action or accountability. 

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