DECEMBER 16, 2009
As the economic crisis severely diminishes the nation’s tax revenues, thousands of federal workers—including those at key presidential cabinet agencies—still owe the U.S. government billions of dollars in back taxes for just one year.
According to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents obtained by a Washington D.C. news station, 276,300 federal employees and retirees owe Uncle Sam $3,042,200,000 for 2008 alone. Sadly, the figure marks a substantial increase from the $2.7 billion in taxes that federal workers and retirees stiffed the government in 2007.
Practically every federal agency has delinquent employees, according to the IRS figures, and the agency with the most tax scofflaws is the U.S. Postal Service with nearly 30,000 workers who owe $297,933,756. Incredibly, this is an improvement from 2007 when more than 54,000 postal employees failed to pay over $407 million.
Retired military personnel make up around 33% of the money owed ($1,343,538,055) and nearly 30,000 active-duty military employees owe the government well over $100 million. More than 400 employees in the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pay close to $6 million and 231 in the U.S. Senate owe nearly $2.5 million. Fifty employees in the Executive Office of the President, which includes the White House, still owe $812,917.
The perpetually scandal-plagued Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the cabinet agency with the highest delinquency rate at around 4% and the Treasury Department wins for best compliance with less than 1% of workers who didn’t pay their taxes last year.
Calling the federal employee delinquencies offensive, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Finance, which is responsible for tax policy, is asking the commissioner of the IRS to reveal the amount of unpaid taxes by government contractors who annually get hundreds of billions of dollars in payments.
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