Federal Workers Owe Billions in Back Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service will announce this week that Federal employees owe more than $2.5 billion in back taxes, but overall are far less likely to be delinquent than the average US taxpayer.

The IRS has compiled statistics on Federal workers for nine years now. Of the 8.7 million federal workers and retirees, 381,500 were behind on their taxes, or 2.8% of the total. This compares with a national average of 5.2% of the American workforce being behind on taxes.

IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti says tax delinquency at any level by federal workers is cause for concern.

"If the public perceives that federal employees do not maintain the highest level of tax compliance, public confidence in government will suffer," Rossotti said in a letter to each federal agency head detailing that department's noncompliance rate.

According to the IRS report, the noncompliance rate - the percentage of those who are not even attempting to pay down their back debts - for Federal Agencies includes*:

House of Representatives - over 4%
Senate - 3.5%
Executive Office of the President- 3.4%
Treasury Department (including the IRS) - 1.5%
Federal Bureau of Investigation - 1.4%

*Figures include elected officials and members of their staff.

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