Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Over 450,000 Federal Workers Are Tax Deadbeats

SenateSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking Republican Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to President Bush today complaining that over 450,000 federal workers and retirees owe $3 billion in federal taxes. The Senators also released this tax delinquency data, showing that the largest percentages of federal employee/retiree tax deadbeats are in these departments and agencies:   

  1. U.S. Commission on Civil Rights:  9.4%
  2. Government Printing Office:  7.4%
  3. Smithsonian:  5.6%
  4. Courts:  5.5%
  5. Defense Department:  5.4%
  6. Selective Service:  5.4%
  7. EEOC:  5.3%
  8. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.:  5.3%
  9. Federal Labor Relations Authority:  5.0%
  10. National Endowment for the Humanities:  5.0%

The Tax Court had 4.9% tax deadbeats, while the Treasury Department had one of the lowest percentages (1.3%).

Update:  Jim Maule has more here.

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Tracked on Apr 26, 2007 6:00:14 AM

» Over 450,000 Federal Workers Are Tax Deadbeats from TruePress
TaxProf blog noted the release of statistics on the delinquency rate of Federal Employees.   Here is the spreadsheet with the data.  I am not sure if 450,000 people owing $2,000,000,000 is a high or low amount but youd think the government wo... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 26, 2007 8:21:56 AM

» Federal Bureaucrats Not Paying Their Taxes from Say Anything
Or a lot of them arent, anyway. Some 450,000. Whats worst is that 4.9% of the bureaucrats at the flippin Tax Court are delinquent in their taxes. Meaning that our tax code is so obscenely complicated that not e... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 26, 2007 10:12:38 AM


I'd like to know how the government workers' deadbeat rate differs, if at all, from the rest of the population.

Posted by: Thomas Blumer | Apr 26, 2007 11:47:06 PM

Rodger on that IRS employee tax compliance policy.,,id=140606,00.html

Posted by: Lou Gots | Apr 26, 2007 10:07:25 AM

Treasury has a good rate because the I.R.S enforces employee tax compliance. You can get fired for not paying your taxes, and they are watching.,,id=140606,00.html

Posted by: Lou Gots | Apr 26, 2007 10:04:37 AM

Statistics are a great way to lie.

Note that those percentages combine active employees (over whom the agencies have some control) with retirees (who may live gods-know-where and whose retirement is NOT controlled by the agencies once they are off employment status).

This is political BS.

Posted by: molon labe | Apr 26, 2007 9:45:03 AM

You might try following the link which shows a little over 9.1 million employees and retirees

Posted by: Count, I Can | Apr 26, 2007 9:29:06 AM

I think it's about right. The federal government represents about 20% of GDP, of which we need to deduct interest expenses completely, and non-payroll expenses for entitlements, defense, and the like.

Let's call it 5% federal payroll expense. And we also know that federal employees' median wages are now double the private sector's median wages. So the 9 mil fed employee figure checks out.

Posted by: caveat bettor | Apr 26, 2007 8:31:59 AM

I blame Bush.

And Haliburton.

Posted by: Some Non-Partisan Guy | Apr 26, 2007 8:08:58 AM

Was at a conference this week and talked to an IRS employee. They are ALL audited every year, and ANY mistake that is deemed intentional is grounds for immediate dismissal. Unintentional errors are grounds for discipline.

That would make me turn in my taxes in an accurate, timely manner.

I belive their count is big because it includes retirees, the military, and the post office.

Posted by: mike | Apr 26, 2007 7:51:02 AM

Maybe this is their way of protesting the war in Iraq?

Can I do the same thing to protest the debilitating dependency on handouts to the entitlement class? Fair is fair, you know.

Posted by: DaveG | Apr 26, 2007 6:58:47 AM


Note it also says "retirees." Possibly includes military retirees. Guess I'll look *now.*


Posted by: Rick | Apr 26, 2007 6:55:48 AM

Yes, there probably could be 9,000,000 gov't employees, isn't the military between 2.5 and 4.5 million? Though since the rate of delinquency would be much lower in agencies with background checks (like the Treasury Dept.) that may make the number of Federal employees smaller.

Posted by: O | Apr 26, 2007 6:50:20 AM

I think we need to think of it as 95% pay their taxes. That way we see that it is really only a small problem. (Is this yet another case of blame anything on the President we can?)

Yet the agencies they work for have no way to know if they pay their taxes or are criminally liable for back taxes. Unless the IRS informs them or garnishes their wages. Maybe that is how the IRS knows who they are - because they are already garnishing their wages.

Agencies that require background checks will have lower rates of this since they will cut out hiring of people that have financial problems of this sort. Treasury has such background checks, which explains the much lower rate there.

Posted by: O | Apr 26, 2007 6:45:59 AM

I'm curious about these numbers. If you say 5% or 450,000 are delinquent, that means there are 9,000,000 Federal employees. Do we really have that many people living off us taxpayers? And how can so many be delinquent when their taxes are withheld every paycheck?

Posted by: Doug | Apr 26, 2007 6:10:29 AM

No Yuri, you are the liar and fraud. The law is very clear about every citizen's legal obligation to pay their income taxes.

See "The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments" at,,id=159853,00.html

The problem is it that anarchists like you refuse to admit the truth and participate in legitimate political debate about the equitable allocation of such taxes. It’s much easier, I suppose, to live in the dream-world you occupy then to deal with the messy reality of public discourse and debate.

Posted by: Concerned Citizen | Apr 26, 2007 6:04:31 AM

Show us the LAW that says we are required to pay income tax!
Baucus is a liar and a fraud, There is no law.

Posted by: Yuri Sonovavich | Apr 25, 2007 11:26:30 PM

Maybe this is their way of protesting the war in Iraq?

Posted by: Desiderata | Apr 25, 2007 11:12:50 PM