Did you know that you were in arrears to the federal government for $3.5 billion? Actually, you aren’t, but your money is. A report released on Tuesday by the IRS reveals that 312,000 federal workers and retirees failed to pay their federal income taxes on time in 2011. Since their salaries come out of funds collected from you, the taxpayer, “your money” is delinquent.
According to the annual Federal Employee/Retiree Delinquency Initiative (FERDI), the 9.8 million people employed by the federal government collectively owe $3,519,410,517. A report by FOX News indicates that the total number of delinquent workers dropped rose more than 12 percent in 2011.
The agencies and departments that owe the most are shown in this table.
Congress and the White House aren’t guiltless when it comes to tax scofflaws. The FERDI shows that the Senate is responsible for 3.3 percent of the back taxes and penalties owed, the House for 3.7 percent, and the White House 2 percent.
Translated to dollar amounts, Congressional staffers have a $10.8 million debt, while 40 delinquent employees of the Executive Office of the President owe $333,485.
Federal workers are not alone in failing to pay taxes, with more than 8 percent of the general population failing to meet its tax obligations on time. Unlike federal workers, however, delinquent taxpayers in the private sector don’t get away with it as often.
Under a proposed House bill, workers deemed “seriously delinquent” would be ineligible for federal jobs. At present, that bill is stuck in a committee.
If you need an example of how seriously broken the system is, consider this: The Government Accountability Office, which investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars, owes nearly $912,000 in unpaid taxes.
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