IRS Cracks Down on Feds

February 27, 1997

IRS Cracks Down on Feds

The IRS has caught up with 17,000 of the 200,000 federal employees who were listed as tax delinquents as of last spring, Federal Times reported this week. More than 12,000 of 78,000 delinquent federal retirees have also paid their back taxes as the IRS cracks down on present and former civil servants who have overdue bills with Uncle Sam.

The IRS has been tracking delinquent federal employees and retirees since 1992. They began a serious crackdown last spring to collect the $1.2 billion feds and retirees owed the government. While the 5.76 percent delinquency rate among federal employees is lower than the 8.62 percent rate in the general population, IRS officials told The Washington Post last year that ethics regulations for government employees mandate that they be held to the highest standard.

Most agencies' delinquency rates hover between 4 percent and 8 percent, according to IRS data from October. The Department of Education posted the highest delinquency rate among cabinet agencies, 9.25 percent. Education has the least number of employees of any cabinet agency, so a handful of delinquent taxpayers boosts its percentage. The Justice Department had the lowest delinquency rate, at 3.62 percent. Regular employee background checks probably help motivate Justice employees to pay their balances to IRS, an agency official said.

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