News in Brief

DOD tax problems, Microsoft training and Amazon’s cloudy cloud

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GAO: 83,000 Pentagon employees, contractors owe taxes

As of June 30, 2012, some 83,000 Defense Department employees and contractors who held – or were eligible to hold – security clearances had unpaid tax debt totaling more than $730 million, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

Fewer than half -- 34,000 -- of those employees or contractors had a plan with the IRS to pay off their debt, GAO said.

Debtors are a potential security risk because they may engage in illegal behavior to recover their debt, the study said. But federal law does not prohibit someone with unpaid taxes from holding a security clearance.

As of October 2013, about 5.1 million civilian and military employees and contractors held -- or were eligible to hold -- a security clearance, GAO said, citing data from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Microsoft expands IT training to Camp Pendleton and Fort Hood

Microsoft is expanding its IT training program for active-duty service members to Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Fort Hood, Texas, the tech giant announced July 28. Microsoft introduced the program in November for service members looking for jobs outside the military.

Professors from Saint Martin’s University in Washington state and Central Texas College teach the 16-week training program, dubbed the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy. Trainees get a shot at a job interview at Microsoft, the firm said.

Amazon Cloud’s not-so-silver lining

Amazon’s $5 billion cloud computing business has grown steadily over the past decade, abetted by a major move into the federal market. But, as Robert McMillan of Wired.com reports, the company’s focus on investing in long-term growth has taken a bite out of its bottom line, dinged its stock price and created a sense of short-term gloom for many investors.

Read the whole thing here.

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Reader comments

Tue, Jul 29, 2014 RayW

"GAO: 83,000 Pentagon employees, contractors owe taxes" (translate to Gov workers and contractors paid via DoD, a VERY MUCH larger number than just Pentagon) .

This subject comes up about once a year, however, the last time I looked at a CONGRESSIONAL study, the percentage there was even worse.

The question is, how many of the 83000 are accidental, how many on purpose, and how many because of bad advice from the IRS tax help line (call 10 times, get 10 different answers on what you are required to do)? After all, that is only $9,000 per person/entity whch over several years of bad advice from the IRS is not unreasonable for those making $50K+

Start at the top, go after the lawmakers first, they are the ones who want the taxes (and the list I saw was both parties), then go after the elected and appointed folks that make up the rest of the three branches of the Federal Gov, then go after the corporations and SES level folks in the Gov and Real Life, then go after the working class. Frankly, if I saw all the elected crooks in congress paying up like I am forced to do, it would not be so painful.

Caveat: Some of this information comes from purported studies found or seen on the internet or broadcast media, as always, information can be twisted or even buried to fit agendas on both sides.

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