More than 450,000 federal employees and retirees owe a total of $3 billion in back taxes, according to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Republican Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
In a letter to President Bush, the Senators urged the White House to remind tax-delinquent government employees to "do their duty," and help to close the national "tax gap" of $345 billion a year in taxes owed, but not paid on time.
"Of all people, Federal workers should pay their Federal taxes on time," said Sen. Baucus in a press release. "If the government doesn't make its own employees follow the rules, it's hard to tell the rest of the American people that they should do better. The President should make his expectations clear to every worker on the Federal payroll. This is one simple way the Administration can tackle the problem of taxes owed but unpaid without an act of Congress and without additional burdens on law-abiding taxpayers."
"One of the strongest features of our democracy is our system of collecting income taxes through individual self-assessment. The American public rightly expects a high degree of honesty and personal integrity from those in government. And those in government have a duty and responsibility to assure the American public they have the highest ethical standards and are paying their fair share of taxes." -- from a letter to President Bush from Senators Baucus and Grassley
The identities of the government workers found delinquent on tax filings were not disclosed by the IRS due to federal privacy laws.