MAY 10, 2007
U.S. government employees at a major federal agency that annually oversees more than $500 billion taxpayer dollars have the nation’s worst delinquency rate for paying their own federal income taxes.
The 24,000 civilian employees at the Department of Defense have been crowned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as the most delinquent federal agency when it comes to paying income taxes.
The dubious honor provoked a public scolding from the Pentagon’s top personnel official this week. The presidential-appointed Under Secretary of Defense, David Chu, said federal employees have a special obligation to help foster public confidence in government by serving as model taxpayers.
Chu actually sent Pentagon employees a memo telling them that public servants and stewards of taxpayer dollars should have a keen appreciation for the importance of complying with tax laws and rules. He reminded defense personnel of their obligation to file tax returns and even directed them to the IRS web site for help.
One Defense Department official snapped back, saying that his employees don’t need reminders to meet their obligations. He attributed the delinquency to the fact that Pentagon workers are decisively engaged in the war and helping combatants carry a heavy load. Incidentally, the government agency that best complies with taxes is the Treasury Department.
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