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What should happen to government workers who owe overdue taxes?

Capitol Hill employees owed $9.3 million in overdue taxes at the end of last year, a sliver of the $1 billion owed by federal workers nationwide but one with potential political ramifications for members of Congress.

The debt among Hill employees has risen at a faster rate than the overall tax debt on the government's books, according to Internal Revenue Service data. It comes at a time when some Republican members are pushing for the firings of government workers who owe the IRS and President Obama has urged a crackdown on delinquent government contractors. Read the full article.

By Abha Bhattarai  |  September 9, 2010; 1:10 PM ET  | Category:  Local , National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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By far and away, the vast majority of delinquent taxpayers are from the military (active duty, retired and reserve) and DoD.

They owe over $2 Billion in back taxes! Just look at the interactive chart with this article.

Posted by: HillRat | September 9, 2010 2:57 PM

This article leaves the reader to believe all of these people do this "on purpose" and don't have a payment plan and are paying those taxes. That is absolutely wrong. Gov't workers have jobs just like non goverment workers. And it depends on the individual why they owe taxes ... and part of that is because we pay too much in taxes in the first place!

Posted by: laseay1 | September 9, 2010 4:11 PM

The headline of the article should be clearer as to the type of goverment employees. The headline indicates that the debtors are staffers,not military personnel.Also,a distinction should be made regarding military personnel in active duty and desk employees.

Posted by: m47906 | September 9, 2010 4:23 PM

the law should be followed and they should be hounded just like everyone else...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 9, 2010 4:27 PM

This is ridiculous and irresponsible journalism. The headline is completely misleading. Also, the REAL story here is how terrible of a situation it is for the tens of thousands of active and retired military personnel and families who can't afford to pay their taxes and are on food stamps. All this article does is try to take a swipe at the federal government, when it could have brought a newsworthy and serious subject to light instead... is this the Washington Post or Times?

Posted by: swimlaxer | September 9, 2010 4:54 PM

Here we go again. Bashing Gov't workers with another misleading article. What is the percentage of non-government workers that are delinquent with their taxes? The last I read (and probably not in the WP) was that gov't workers are better at paying their taxes than the general population.

Posted by: jak201 | September 9, 2010 5:30 PM

A friend sent me a copy of the Post article, and I attempted to find some information as a comparison point on what tax delinquency rates are in the private sector (almost certainly higher than 4 percent).

Instead I stumbled across Washington Post stories which seem to run every friggen year on this exact same topic. Cut and paste.

Bravo! Bravo Woodwards and Bernsteins in training!

I was always under the impression that context was important in journalistic reporting -- so why is it that the Washington Post editors and writers haven't ONCE compared the public default rates to the private sector as a matter of context?

Also, the article never answers the question: What is the source of the delinquency? Are these people simply dead-beats, did they just miss a filing deadline?

Obviously you're going to have an increase during a recession -- but I'd imagine that the delinquencies must be above and beyond income tax withholdings.

Are former federal employees included in the tally? (e.g. people who have been laid off, or people who retired?).

What typically happens to employees who have delinquencies? Presumably the federal government garnishes their wages until the tax liability is paid off?

Posted by: JPRS | September 9, 2010 6:16 PM

I feel sorry for these employees. Aren't we all just taxed enough? With the draconian fines and interest rates, no wonder they owe so much. But the law is the law. We need to change the laws. Less spending, less taxes. When will hard working people have enough?

Posted by: carla2 | September 10, 2010 11:43 AM

That question is too vague. It depends on why the person owes taxes and whether they are working with the IRS and taking steps to deal with their tax debt. Should government workers who intentionally cheat on their taxes be fired? Yes. But the fact that someone owes taxes doesn't tell you enough.

Posted by: Katya2 | September 10, 2010 2:08 PM

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The camera crews are in Florida awaiting Jones' next rant. You're missing a story here, bamas.

Posted by: bs2004 | September 10, 2010 2:23 PM

KATYA2 - Agreed.
No one knows the real story. IRS privacy rules prohibit releasing any individual's names. Fairness in our society says that all are created equal and have equal protections under the law.

Posted by: pjohn2 | September 10, 2010 3:50 PM

They should be subject to the same interest and penalties and to the same merciless IRS harassment into and beyond the grave as other citizens. This goes also for tax cheats like Tim Geitner and Tom Dashiell who, because of their exalted status, paid only a fraction of what ordinary citizens would have paid.

Posted by: frombalto | September 10, 2010 6:52 PM

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