Government Employees Owe $3 Billion in Back Taxes
From the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up department Mark Segraves of WTOP.com reports:
At a time when the White House is projecting the largest deficit in the nation’s history, Uncle Sam is trying to recover billions of dollars in unpaid taxes from its own employees. Federal workers owe more than $3 billion in income taxes they failedto pay in 2008. According to Internal Revenue Service documents,276,300 federal employees and retirees owe $3,042,200,000.
The IRS tracks the voluntary compliance rate of federal employees and retirees each year, and each year feds come up short.
The documents show delinquent employees from nearly every federal agency with more than 25 employees. Based on percentages, the Department of The Treasury, which includes the IRS, has the best compliance rate. Fewer than 1 percent of Treasury employees didn’t pay their taxes in 2008.
The IRS is the only federal agency where employees can be fired for
not paying their taxes. The non-compliance rate for IRS employees in
2008 was 0.76 percent — down from 0.89 percent in 2007.
The agency with the most tax scofflaws is the U.S. Postal Service, with 28,913 employees who owe $297,933,756.
"It's not right for a few to shirk their obligations, and it's especially offensive that these tax delinquencies come from federal employees and contractors," said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. the top
Republican on the Senate Finance Committee .
The IRS doesn't provide a comparable delinquency rate for income taxes paid by the public. The nation's overall compliance rate, which includes
taxes paid by small businesses and corporations, has hovered around 85
percent for decades, according to IRS statistics.
Most residents who owe back income taxes file returns but cannot pay the full amount at tax time, said IRS spokesman Anthony Burke. Others have their tax bills increased through audits and cannot pay the higher bill.
The statistics on federal employees do not include those who are on payment plans. The IRS doesn't publicize the data, but makes it available upon request. The data was first reported by Washington radio station WTOP.
The recession has put a big dent in federal tax receipts. Individual income tax receipts for the fiscal year that ended in September were down about 20 percent from the year before.
Other notable agencies on the list:
- Executive Office of the President (includes the White House): 50 employees owe $812,917;
A tip of the hat to Glenn Reynolds. the Instapundit, who says: