House Bill Imperils Federal Workers Who Owe Back Taxes

Posted on Aug 31, 2012

On the whole, federal workers are much more diligent about filing state and federal tax returns than employees in the private sector—after all, taxes are the only reason the government can afford to pay them in the first place. However, that's not good enough for Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who recently introduced the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act. According to the terms of this proposed law, any federal employee who is “seriously delinquent” on his taxes, to the extent of having a lien imposed on him by the IRS, would be fired; it's unclear if paying his back taxes would entitle the ex-employee to get his job back.

According to The Oklahoman, as of 2010 almost 100,000 federal workers owes the U.S. government about $1 billion in back taxes. That may seem like a huge number on the face of it, but bear in mind that these delinquent taxpayers account for only three percent of the entire U.S. federal work force. The tax-owing employees span a wide range of occupations: not only government functionaries, but also employees of the U.S. Postal Service and almost 700 congressional staffers, who are on the hook for about $10 million.

Chaffetz's bill passed the House by a comfortable margin; whether it will have a comparably easy time in the Senate remains to be seen.

Are you a federal worker in the state of Oklahoma who owes back taxes? Now may be a good time to face this issue head-on, and a good start would be to call the Tulsa tax attorney at Travis W. Watkins, PC for a free consultation. Call toll-free 800-721-7054 today to start on the path to a clean tax record.

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