Skip to comments.House to vote on bill terminating federal workers who don't pay their taxes (100K owe $1 billion)
Posted on 07/31/2012 2:45:23 AM PDT by Libloather
House to vote on bill terminating federal workers who don't pay their taxes
By Pete Kasperowicz and Bernie Becker - 07/30/12 09:27 AM ET
The House will vote on legislation as early as Tuesday that would require the federal government to terminate workers with "seriously delinquent" tax debts.
The bill, which also would prohibit the government from hiring people who are late on their tax payments, tries to deal with the roughly 100,000 federal workers who are usually behind on their taxes each year.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the bills sponsor, has cited IRS data indicating that these workers owed a combined $1 billion in delinquent taxes in 2009, up from roughly $600 million in 2004.
Even with the increased amount, the number of federal employees who are late in their tax payments has remained steady, at about 100,000 each year.
"Federal employees, contractors and grantees have an obvious obligation to pay their taxes," Chaffetz said when he introduced his bill in 2011. "Because they draw their compensation and funds from the American taxpayers, they owe it to the taxpayers themselves to be compliant. Those that do not should be fired or lose funding."
The vote on the measure, H.R. 828, comes after Republicans and Democrats, especially those from the Washington, D.C.-area, have sparred for months over proposals dealing with the federal workforce.
Top Democrats like House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) voted against this years payroll tax cut extension, a top White House priority, because future government employees would help foot the bill.
Republicans have unfairly targeted federal employees throughout this Congress, Mariel Saez, a Hoyer spokeswoman, told The Hill in a Monday statement. Rep. Hoyer believes House Republicans are engaged in reckless and unconstructive political theater when they target federal employees with bills like this one.
Republicans have looked to the federal workforce for savings to help undo the automatic spending cuts set to begin next year.
Chaffetzs bill would open up all federal workers to be fired for not paying their income taxes, although it would require the Office of Personnel Management to put in place procedures ensuring due process.
The government would be required to give workers 180 days to show their debt is being paid off. Under current law, only IRS employees can be fired for income tax delinquency.
Chaffetz also pushed to exempt active service members from the measure, and the GOP accepted a Democratic proposal to ensure that the bill wouldnt impede revenue collection.
House Republicans are considering the bill under a suspension of rules, which means a two-thirds majority will be required to pass it. Republicans can be expected to support it, so roughly 40 to 50 Democrats will be needed for passage.
The House Oversight Committee cleared the measure by voice vote last year, a sign of at least some Democratic support.
But unions representing federal workers and Democrats like Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight panel, argue only a sliver of federal workers arent compliant on their taxes.
We find this measure redundant, since there are sufficient remedies already in place, including wage garnishment, to deal with those who fall behind in their tax obligations, but are capable of repayment, Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, told The Hill in a statement.
How about Congress?
They should be next, but you have to start somewhere...
Has to be the perfect voter block...if you get the drift.
How about Tim Geithner? Oh, I think he paid after he was caught.
And there are sufficient loopholes in this bill (which amends the existing tax code) to make actually firing someone a long and tedious process.
And that's the crux of the problem. There is so much red tape that a manager needs to go through (not the least of which is EEO), that they are incentivized to simply put the bad employee in a corner and let them play computer games all day rather than trying to get rid of them.
The government Frankenstein turned against its masters. Commonsense accountability and a pretty clever bit of subversion—love it.
I hope everyone understands these people are not your average government workers: their taxes are taken right out of the paychecks. These non-taxpayers are those with significant outside income.
Pay your taxes or go to jail... if it was good enough for Al Capone... it is good enough for the crap that infects our government.
It's taxes that are bad.
We have been conditioned (by fear) to pay them and believe that it is our civic duty.
after healthcare defunding and Boners decision to allow it in the latest stop gap, their nonsense is finally clear for all to see..something many of us here on FR have been saying for years
Taxes, per se, are not bad. Unfortunately, they are necessary.
The devil is in the details, all 70,000+ pages of them.
THAT’S what needs to be fixed.
As for “civic duty”, feel free to wave your magic wand and eliminate all taxes, but just don’t complain when our society and country collapses.
Most of the cause for this lateness has to do with interactions with family courts regarding child support ~ as well as the correct identification of who owed it.
As everyone on FR knows, inasmuch as we are all the world's greatest experts on the federal income tax, child support is taxable at the custodial parent, and is a deduction to the non-custodial parent.
People regularly end up late as state and local courts shilly shally around delaying and deferring final decisions on custody.
The solution is simple ~ apply this to everybody. If your local court can't get custody decided within the framework of a tax year then imprison the judge, fire both the mom and the dad, and seize any property they might have left.
BTW, that's going to go after "the young" ~ but I suspect it would wake everybody up to the fundamental problem here.
These situations can arise in any number of ways; you mention family court situations, but federal employees also may have outside income, small businesses on the side, spousal income and spousal/childrens' tax complications, inherited property, trusts and estates and probate, and a thousand and one other petty complications of the kind that make the U.S. tax code one of the wonders of the world.
Personally, I've only been a late filer once (not counting fairly routine extensions) when a paperwork collection exercise took longer than I had anticipated (admittedly after having procrastinated badly). Since I had filed my estimated taxes on time and called the IRS to explain the delay once it became clear I was going to be late, it was not difficult to work out. But as I get older, I find that the nuisance factor looms ever larger, and my contempt for the system grows apace. I know I have to do it, but I no longer regard the system as deserving of respect and I'm not eager to hang anyone who has simply run afoul of the IRS on a technicality.
A first check is whether the delinquent taxpayer filed his estimated taxes on time. If he's done that but is late on the final, I would give him the benefit of the doubt if he's dealing with some imbecile paperwork issue and just put it off too long.
None of that is to excuse the truly bad actors who just don't bother to file, or who underpay and don't ante up when they're audited. The feds will have a few of those as well, and they should be fired.
The really big one involved CHILD CUSTODY ~ and the derivatives of that ~ and most of the cause of that was laziness in the state and local court systems.
Then, there are the outside income tricks, and those affect mostly government lawyers and accountants!
Firing people because IRS doesn't know how to enforce the federal tax code seems counter productive to me. Bet some of the agents who've dealt with these employees won't like it either ~ 'cause it puts a BIG RED BULLSEYE' on 'em.
Most folks will try to pay ~ and then there are those who suffer from clinical depression, or, like Br'r Holmes, something far worse.
Bet he forgot to pay his taxes the last couple of years!
Think about it ~ he had a government grant ~ he had to account for it on his tax return even if it wasn't taxable. So, he makes a mistake, a deficiency is recorded and an agent is sent over to his booby trapped apartment to "talk to him". Yeah, right ~ bet that happens about one time.
The Treasury Department has a special center in Covington Kentucky that cuts deals with taxpayers who are late or delinquent. It's a HUGE CENTER. They send IRS tax reminders (like a bill but tackier) to millions of people every year.
100,000 AIN'T NO THANG!