Internal Revenue Service documents show that the government is still trying to recover nearly $2.8 billion in back taxes from over 450,000 active and retired federal government employees who failed to file tax returns or pay taxes, or some 3.3 percent of the federal bureaucracy.
Spreadsheets obtained by Washington, D.C., radio station WTOP under the Freedom of Information Act show that hundreds of thousands of government employees failed to file a tax return for the 2005 tax year.
No federal agency was exempt, the documents show, though “tax compliance” varied from one agency to another.
Seventy-one employees in the Executive Office of the President, which includes the White House, owe $664,527 in taxes for 2005. About 20 of those employees have entered into an IRS payment plan, bringing the EOP balance down to $455,881owed by 50 employees. . . .
At the IRS, employees can be fired for failure to pay federal income taxes. But an IRS spokesperson tells WTOP it’s no easier to collect from federal employees than it is to collect from the general public.
In the past, IRS officials have been quick to compare the federal workers’ rate of compliance with the general public’s. But this year, the IRS is not able to track the compliance rate for the general public. — WTOP
The documents showed that about one-third of the employees, or 149,500, entered into payment plans with the IRS.
The United States Postal Service was the agency with the highest level of noncompliance, while the Treasury Department had the lowest level. IRS agents can be fired if they fail to pay taxes.
But, an IRS spokesman told WTOP, it’s no easier to collect from the bureaucrats as it is from the rest of us. Indeed, the IRS can hardly get a handle around the tax noncompliance issue, and has been reduced to prosecuting high-profile people who they allege have failed to pay taxes owed, such as Wesley Snipes.