05:49 GMT23 January 2021
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    Current and former federal government workers owed more than $3.5 billion in taxes last year, the US Internal Revenue Service reported Tuesday.

    The total amount owed is $200 million more than the previous year but the total number of workers who owe have dropped — from 318,000 to 305,000. The data includes those who owed back taxes as of Sept. 30, 2014. 

    The total includes current and retired civilian workers as well as active and former military personnel. For just the 100,000 or so current civilian federal workers the total is more than $1.1 billion. 

    “It is an honor and a privilege to serve in the federal workforce,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said of the IRS report. “These employees are not exempt from their civic responsibility to fulfill tax obligations and those who refuse to pay what they owe should be held accountable.”

    Those who owe back taxes are about 3.1% of the total federal workforce of about 9.8 million people on the government's payroll. The highest delinquency rate of an executive agency was the Department of Housing and Urban Development, at 4.7%. While the Government Printing office was the worst offender among large independent agencies, at almost 7.6%. Among workers at the House of Representatives, the rate was 5.04%. 

    Unsurprisingly perhaps, workers at the Treasury Department, home of the IRS, had the lowest delinquency rate among cabinet agencies, at 1.19%.  And active duty military were also relatively responsible taxpayers, at just a 1.4% delinquency rate. 

    Compared to the overall US population, federal employees are more likely to pay their taxes, with data from recent years ranging from about 8 to 9%. 

    On Wednesday the committee is slated to discuss a bill that would make individuals with  "seriously delinquent tax debt" ineligible for employment with the federal government. 


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    tax revenue, government, federal workers, federal government, taxes, US Department of the Treasury, Government Printing Office, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, House Oversight Committee, US Internal Revenue System (IRS), Jason Chaffetz
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