Federal employees would face firings for delinquent taxes

Workers could be terminated for unpaid taxes under new bill

Federal employees could be fired for not paying their federal taxes on time under a bill reintroduced by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), reports Federal News Radio.

"They should lead by example," Coburn said in a statement. "Failure to do so is an affront to taxpayers and to the rule of law."

According to Coburn, the legislation would save taxpayers $3 billion by requiring the IRS to collect unpaid income taxes from federal employees. Under the bill, federal employees could be fired if they weren't current on their taxes.


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The bill would not apply to those employees who made oversights in their personal taxes but agree to pay them, or those who are challenging the delinquency in court or through the IRS.

It would also exclude those who are paying taxes under an installment plan, people who have worked out a compromise on the tax amount and interest and penalties owed, employees who have not exhausted their rights to due process, and those who experience some complications pertaining to a joint return.

Nearly 100,000 civilian federal employees were delinquent on their federal income taxes in 2009, owing a total of $1 billion, the IRS found.

"The very nature of federal employment and the concept inherent to 'public service' demands those being paid by taxpayers to also pay their fair share of taxes," Coburn said.

According to taxdebthelp.com, failing to file a tax return is a misdemeanor and normally civil rather than criminal tax penalties are assessed. Although the possibility is unlikely, some people can face up to one year in jail and $25,000 in fines for each year they failed to file.



About the Author

Alysha Sideman is the online content producer for Washington Technology.

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