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house Bill H.R. 1563

If you Don't pay Your Taxes, Should You Lose Your Government Job?

Argument in favor

The government needs taxpayer dollars to keep operations running. People that evade taxes are hurting the country. Government employee tax-dodgers are especially bad: they’re earning money off taxpayers while not contributing.

Cary's Opinion
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04/11/2015
We expect fireman to NOT play with fire, we should also expect taxpayer supported workers to pay their fair share.
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Debbie's Opinion
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04/11/2015
They should be held to the same standards as those who are not government employees. We pay their salary and if they don't obey the law they lose their job!
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xxxxxxx's Opinion
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04/15/2015
Seems beyond hypocritical for govt employees to evade taxes - they should set the example.
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Argument opposed

Federal employees are more likely to pay their taxes than regular taxpayers. That said, if you fire the federal employees who don't pay their taxes, the U.S. will never recoup those missing tax dollars — how will they pay taxes without an income?

Bill's Opinion
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04/11/2015
No ... They should get the same punishment as everyone else. Wages garnished etc ...
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mell42's Opinion
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04/11/2015
Why are we wasting time and resources on this? It can't be much money if elected officials aren't included. It would make more sense to close loopholes like offshore bank accounts which actually cost us billions a year.
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JonRunyan's Opinion
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04/11/2015
Has to be a better way, if you don't have a job how are you to pay what you owe?
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Rejected April 15th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 266 Yea / 160 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Administration
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedMarch 24th, 2015

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What is House Bill H.R. 1563?

This bill would give the heads of government agencies the power to fire federal employees for having "seriously delinquent" tax debt — basically if the government can seize your property or take you to court because of all the taxes you owe.  


The bill would also require federal agencies to check if people applying for federal jobs have paid their taxes. This can be done by having applicants "certify" that they don't owe the government money — basically have them sign off on letting the Secretary of the Treasury disclose their tax information. Agencies are also encouraged to check public records to see if applicants owe taxes. 


The bill comes with a confidentiality agreement: department heads that get a person's tax information wouldn't be able to share it with anyone else, or use it for anything other than determining their eligibility for the position.


There would be a couple of exceptions for federal employees. If the applicant or employee was in the process of paying their debt or in a hearing about their debt, they couldn’t be fired. The employee would also have 180 days to show that they were taking the above steps — so, if your boss caught you with back taxes, you could theoretically start payin’ up to keep your job. 


Finally, if an employee is "in a situation involving financial hardship" and keeping them on the payroll is found to be “in the best interests of the United States,” they can keep their job.

Impact

People who don't pay their taxes, taxpayers, federal employees and the agencies they work for, heads of federal agencies, and the Internal Revenue Service.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1563

$1.00 Million
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost $1 million from 2016 to 2020. Those funds, if they're available, would be used for certification forms, the development of new regulations, and for the time spent reviewing the records of current and prospective employees.

More Information

Of Note: 

According to an IRS report on 2014 data, federal employees together owe a total of about $3.5 billion in unpaid taxes. And according to the CBO, the revenue that this bill will collect won’t be significant. What’s up with that?


Well, it's worth noting that 97 percent of federal employees pay their taxes, compared to 91 percent of regular taxpayers. So there is, theoretically, way more cash in owed taxes outside Washington than in it. 


It’s worth remembering that not paying your taxes can have some serious consequences. If you don’t pay your taxes, the government can take your stuff. Pay your taxes. You’ll miss your stuff!


Media:

Sponsoring Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) Press Release (Previous Bill Version)

CBO Cost Estimate

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (In Support)

Washington Post

Government Executive

Federal News Radio


Summary by James Helmsworth

(Photo Credit: "Arthur NYcustoms house cartoon" by Frederick Burr Opper (1857-1937) - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3g06041.)

AKA

Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend title 5, United States Code, to provide that individuals having seriously delinquent tax debts shall be ineligible for Federal employment, and for other purposes.

    We expect fireman to NOT play with fire, we should also expect taxpayer supported workers to pay their fair share.
    Like (24)
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    No ... They should get the same punishment as everyone else. Wages garnished etc ...
    Like (19)
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    Why are we wasting time and resources on this? It can't be much money if elected officials aren't included. It would make more sense to close loopholes like offshore bank accounts which actually cost us billions a year.
    Like (16)
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    Has to be a better way, if you don't have a job how are you to pay what you owe?
    Like (13)
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    They should be held to the same standards as those who are not government employees. We pay their salary and if they don't obey the law they lose their job!
    Like (9)
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    Seems beyond hypocritical for govt employees to evade taxes - they should set the example.
    Like (8)
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    Just take their money. As a government employee, garnishing wages sounds like a much simpler option.
    Like (5)
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    IWe as citizens need to hold our federal government more accountable for some of their harsh actions. The upper class community, Middle class community, and the lower class community contains priorities to pay off their taxes before a certain amount of time elapses. Simply All congressional/political individuals symbolized as being present in the federal government should not receive any special treatment due to their value, net worth, their position in the occupation, or their backup bureaucrats. Our nation would simply be in broken taxation system that would greatly increase abusive power/influence, and members of the federal government to utilize harsh leverage to manipulate the system. Individuals in the federal government are expected to pay their fair share to play their role as a citizen NO DIFFERENT FROM YOU AND ME. The more humans in this nation we have paying their fair share of taxes they would be positively contributing to our daily values, educational stability, economic progression, for our men and women wearing that badge to serve and protect us, and to lastly appropriately serve their role as a proud United States citizen. I other words, the more individuals we have paying their fair share of taxes mainly incorporating government employees than you as a citizen would be contributing to our nations overall infrastructure/advancement THAT MUCH MORE! For instance, Hillary Rodham Clinton Was granted amnesty during the Benghazi incident. She was granted amnesty due to her "BACKUP BUDDIES" due to her role as Secretary of State scamming the American public on a majority of her policies and keeping her "BACK UP BUDIES" remaining in power. Just think, if any other individual were to be liable for the negative impact of the Benghazi incident WOULD THEY BE PROSECUTED AND MOST LIKELY REMOVED FROM THEIR OCCUPATION? I'll leave that choice for you to decide, although I'm confident that you are thinking realistically. The same scenario applies for taxes. If a member from congress refused to pay his or her taxes they would not be prosecuted and removed from their occupation. However, you have a lower class family residing in a poor environment that can't pay their taxes, the IRS comes to their door and puts them in HANDCUFFS? This is due to GREED, MANIPULATION, LEVERAGE, AND A BAISED SYSTEM. If you are a government employee and refuse to pay taxes you simply deserve a consequence just like how the citizens below you that you are serving for receive a consequence as well!
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    And collect the owed taxes from their government pension account!
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    The IRS should go after them, just as anyone else. Other than that, these people should not lose their job over it. The two subjects, a person's job and a person's taxes, are seperate. Yes, they are being paid by the tax payers, but you dont get to dig into their personal financial life and fire them.
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    Too many loopholes — crucial job; financial hardship exclusion — plus privacy issues in trusting head of agency (more likely hiring manager or HR) to maintain confidentiality. I would make an exception to my Nay vote for any elected or appointed official with the authority to establish or collect taxes.
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    yes this is only fair they threaten me with letters if I owe taxes saying they will put a lean on my bank account if I don't pay my taxes starting with al Sharpton whos not a government officials to me hes a terrorist in deguise. anyone who owes taxes should be treated fairly pay up as I do. if not hit their savings and anything they own.they do it to us whats makes them so special make all in washingto pay their taxes up to date or get out we as the ones who pay them as taxpayers don't want to pay them anymore unless they do. this should be enforced tomorrow
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    We must promote rule of law. Everybody pays taxes. Whether you're famous or have a government job you still must pay taxes like everyone else.
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    This goes the wrong way of being punished. If you owe taxes your wages should be garnished. Firing someone will not allow the government to collect those taxes, which puts the cost of collect those fees on someone else.
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    What's good for the goose is good for the gander! IOW, what's the penalty if we citizens don't pay OUR taxes?! Government employees should be held accountable for not paying their fair share. Not paying their taxes puts a greater burden on the rest of us. I think losing their job is a fair penalty. Better than going to jail! Right?!
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    This should include ALL federal employees, ALL state employees, ALL municipal employees, and EVERY POLITICIAN. They should be removed from their positions without retirement benefits IF they have intentionally not paid their taxes. Prove intent? It's hard to explain "accidentally" overlooking a few thousand dollars in income. Government employees have higher average incomes, benefits, and retirement incomes than does the average outsider. They should pay higher taxes! WE U.S. citizen taxpayers are expected to account for every penny we get. Why should we expect any less of anybody in a government position?
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    This should be a no brainer. If average Joe doesn't pay, what is the consequence? Hiding behind the shield of Government is not a way out. I am , quite frankly, sick of the Givernment free passes. They work for us.
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    Same treatment as private sector employees
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    There are an alarming number of federal employees and of elected officials in violation of tax laws. Give them a reasonable deadline to make payment, and if they don't comply they should be terminated.
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    Makes sense to me to have accountability and fairness. Shouldn't everyone pay their taxes and not be exempt?
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