As the saying goes, nothing is certain but death and taxes. The IRS, like the grim reaper, will always find you — unless you are a federal employee.
But a Republican congressman from Utah is hoping to change that. He is sponsoring a bill to terminate federal workers who avoid their taxes. The congressman says that approximately 100,000 government employees were delinquent in 2010. About 700 of them worked in Congress.
The bill, which recently passed the House and is awaiting Senate consideration, stipulates that employees negotiating an offer in compromise, that is, attempting to resolve their tax issues with the IRS, should be excused. Those who are seriously delinquent on their taxes, however, will lose their jobs. In addition, anyone applying for a position within the federal government would be subjected to a tax review, according to the bill. If the applicant were found to be delinquent, he or she would be disqualified from consideration.
The rationale behind the bill is straightforward. This bill, the representative believes, will help hold government employees to the same standard as the rest of the country, including citizens of Texas.
Others disagree. A representative from New York believes that the bill will have little effect because the IRS is already authorized to enforce significant penalties on delinquent persons, federal or otherwise. Further, she argues, the bill is misguided, because 96 percent of federal employees pay their taxes regularly and do not owe any money to the IRS.
The representative from Utah points out that the taxes owed by the delinquent members of the federal workforce amount to approximately $1 billion. Their actions, he says, are giving the government a bad name. But many federal employees face the same struggles that other people face. Being delinquent on taxes could be a simple mistake. Should someone lose their job because of that?
Source: The Huffington Post, “Federal Employees Could Be Fired For Tax Delinquency Under New House Bill,” Larry Margasak, July 31, 2012