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Delinquent: Feds, military owe $3.4B in unpaid taxes

Wednesday - 1/25/2012, 2:30pm  ET

post office postal worker (AP)
Postal workersare the worst offenders. (AP)

Mark Segraves, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - From postal workers to congressional staffers, federal workers failed to pay billions in taxes in 2010. According to records released by the Internal Revenue Service, active and retired federal employees and military personnel combined owed $3,420,168,684 in unpaid taxes for 2010, an increase of more than 3 percent over the previous year.

As has been the case in past years, the agency with employees who owe the most in unpaid taxes is the U.S. Postal Service, where 25,640 employees owe nearly $270 million. Employees in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives owe more the $10 million. Active duty military owe more than $100 million.

The IRS tracks the voluntary compliance of federal workers and retirees each year and breaks down the delinquents by agency. There is no comparable data to compare the compliance rates of taxpayers in the private sector, but in past years when the IRS did track compliance rates of private and public sector workers, the delinquency rates were about the same.

Many of those federal employees who owe Uncle Sam enter into payment plans with the IRS. Currently, only IRS employees can be fired for failing to pay their taxes, however, legislation has been introduced that would require federal agencies to fire employees who are seriously delinquent in their taxes.

Here is a quick breakdown of what is owed:

Agency Amount Owed by Employees
Postal Service $269,641,265
Senate $2,134,501
House of Representatives $8,535,974
Executive Office of the President $833,970
Active duty military $111,027,905

Here is a detailed look at the delinquency rates by agency and what is owed:

Copy of FERDI 2010 Final

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)