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Busted: Capitol Hill Employees Owed $9.3 Million in Back Taxes Last Year


Delinquents include members in the Office of Government Ethics.

According to IRS data cited in a Washington Post report, Capitol Hill employees owed $9.3 million in back taxes at the end of last year.

Neither the report nor the IRS information identify delinquent taxpayers by name, party affiliation, or job title, and neither indicate whether members of Congress are among the debtors. Still, the report does show the total number of delinquent employees: 638; or about 4 percent of total Hill staff.

Among other findings mentioned in the article:

  • According to additional documentation obtained by the Post, three employees at the Office of Government Ethics owed a combined $75,000. And 41 employees at the Executive Office of the President owed $831,000 altogether.
  • From 2004 through 2006, the last three years that Republicans were in power, the total amount of back taxes owed each year by congressional workers hovered just below $9 million. But in 2007, when Democrats took control of both houses, it dropped to $6.8 million. Since then, it has increased by 37 percent.
  • During 2008 and 2009 -- during the financial crisis -- the Senate debt increased 80 percent and the House debt increased 25 percent.
  • The average unpaid tax bill is $12,787 among the Senate's delinquent taxpayers and $15,498 among those working in the House.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced legislation earlier this year to fire federal workers who owe back taxes unless they have entered into a payment plan.

“We have over 600 staffers on Capitol Hill not paying their taxes. That’s just not acceptable,” Chaffetz told POLITICO in March. “It’s disingenuous to take federal taxpayer dollars and not pay your full share of taxes. It’s wrong.”

According to the Post, eight Republicans co-sponsored Chaffetz's bill, as opposed to zero Democrats.

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