US Bill To Ban Federal Employment of Tax Debtors

A Bill that would makes individuals with tax debts ineligible for federal employment has been marked up by the US House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The Bill was marked up following the publication of the IRS's tax delinquency report, which identifies the total number of federal civilian employees who are tax-delinquent and the total amount owed. In 2014, 113,805 civilian federal employees owed a total of $ 1.14bn in taxes (compared with $ 1.07bn in 2013). In 2004, those tax debts amounted to only $ 600m. "The fact that our federal workforce owes more than one billion dollars in back taxes is a very serious problem," said the Committee's Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R – Utah). "As tax day approaches, and Americans across the country work to fulfill their civic responsibility to pay their taxes on time, federal workers should not be exempt." "Steps must be taken to ensure that those who are delinquent satisfy their tax obligations," he added. "If they refuse to do so, they should be held accountable." Consequently, Chaffetz sponsored the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2015, and the Committee approved its markup by voice vote on March 25. The Act provides that individuals with "seriously delinquent tax debts" would be ineligible for federal employment. Not only would any individual who has such a tax debt be ineligible to be appointed, they could also be fired from their role as a federal employee. However, an employee may continue to serve, in a situation involving financial hardship, if his or her continued service "is in the best interests of the US, as determined on a case-by-case basis." The Contracting and Tax Accountability Act of 2015 was also marked up by voice vote at the same time. That Act would prohibit the award of contracts or grants to corporations or individuals that have seriously delinquent federal tax debt. Source: