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Tax cheats take note: Federal jobs may require audits

Seeking a government job? If  one senator gets his way, you better have paid your income taxes. A bill (S. 3790) introduced Sept. 15 would make anyone with seriously delinquent tax debts ineligible for a federal job.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said the Internal Revenue Service in 2009 found nearly 100,000 civilian federal employees delinquent on their federal income taxes. In total, they owe more than $1 billion in unpaid income taxes. When considering retirees and the military, more than 282,000 federal employees owed $3.3 billion in taxes.

The problem isn’t in agencies alone, according to Coburn. Capitol Hill has its own problems with delinquent taxpayers. He pointed to a Washington Post story that said congressional staff members--and possibly House and Senate lawmakers as well--had tax delinquencies totaling at least $9.3 million last year.

On Sept. 15, Coburn introduced a similar bill (S. 3791) that would require members of Congress to disclose any delinquent tax liabilities, face ethics inquiries, and then have their wages garnished for a federal tax liability.

“Legislators and government employees should not be exempt from the laws they write and enforce,” he said.


Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Sep 16, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Reader Comments

Tue, Sep 21, 2010 Diane S. New Jersey

Many people are facing financial hardships and by being delinquent on taxes does not mean you are a "cheat". If we owe taxes that we cannot pay right away, we are charged interest by the IRS and put on a payment plan. Denying someone a job because of this is counterproductive. However, once employed by the govt, the govt can take actions by garnishing your wages if not following the agreed payment plan. If someone is truly a "cheat" then they should be arrrested for tax evasion and would not be eligible for a federal job.

Mon, Sep 20, 2010

Hmmm, Let's see. 282,000 people, suddenly out of a job, added to the unemployment line, or job market. I'm sure that's a good idea in someone's book. Why don't we expand it to the civilian job market as well, and fire another million or two? I'm sure that'll get the economy rolling! --not

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 Disgusted

I cannot believe that the garnishment of wages has not been done! I will bet my next paycheck that if I had not paid my taxes the IRS would hhave garnished my wages without a second thought. It is reprehensible that Congressmen, their staffers, and federal employees have gotten away with this for this long. Action must be taken immediately!

Sun, Sep 19, 2010

Finally! I know this is only a start and much more should be done but after all Congress is making the laws, so do you think they will vote to be audited every year? The ethical ones should. Regarding the treasury secretary, how can you have any respect for a former tax cheat that runs the Treasury? Do you let an Ex Con run a prison? When you apply for a job at the IRS, you are audited for the past 3 years, if you have a problem, you don’t get the job. You must then keep up with ALL taxes, local, state, and federal, if you don’t, you lose your job. So why is the treas. sect. held to a lesser standard? I believe audits should apply to ALL Federal Employees including the military since they are receiving taxpayer money. In addition if you are an elected official you should be audited AND your tax return should be disclosed every year to the public. You have to also be accountable to the constituents who elected you. The President is already required to do this. It needs to be expanded to all elected officials. If you can’t keep up with your taxes, you should be fired, and then the job could go to an ethical employee in need of a job who loves and respects their country and form of government.

Fri, Sep 17, 2010

I suspect that we the hired hands will be held to that. The elected/appointed folks on the DC gravy train will somehow not be included.

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