Federal employees owed more in delinquent taxes last year than any year in the past decade, costing the Internal Revenue Service $1.4 billion in 2014.
The 113,805 civilian government employees who declined to pay all of their taxes last year would be ineligible to work for federal agencies under a House bill introduced last week that would hold officials accountable for evading taxes.
Four in 100 federal employees owed the IRS last year, according to the tax agency’s annual delinquency report released Tuesday.
Among cabinet-level agencies, the Department of Veterans Affairs had the highest rate of tax delinquency, with 15,476 of its employees evading all or part of their taxes in 2014.
VA staff collectively owed nearly $162 million in back taxes, the report said.
In the House of Representatives, more than 500 staffers together didn’t pay the IRS $6.7 million last year.
Five of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ 41 staff members owe money. With just 1 percent of its employees owing the IRS, the Treasury Department had the lowest rate.
“It is disconcerting that federal civilian employees owe more than one billion dollars in back taxes,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “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.”
The Oversight Committee will review the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2015 during a mark-up session Wednesday.