Mandatory Removal for Failing to Pay Taxes Upheld on Appeal

An information technology specialist filed appeals after he was fired for not properly filing federal tax returns for four years and not paying taxes on time for three of those years. The removal till stands.

If you work for the Internal Revenue Service, it’s a good idea to be scrupulous in filing for and paying your federal taxes, as a former information technology specialist in its Memphis office found out. (Wesley v. Department of the Treasury, C.A.F.C. No. 2008-3138 (nonprecedential), 6/5/08)

When the agency found out that Wesley had not properly filed federal tax returns for four consecutive calendar years and had not timely paid taxes for three of those years, he was removed. The charge was violation of the Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA) and other standards of conduct. (Opinion pp. 1-2)

Wesley unsuccessfully appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board. The Board found that the agency had proved its case and under the RRA removal was the mandatory penalty. (p. 2)

Pointing to its limited scope of review, the court sustained the Board’s decision. The Board’s findings and conclusion that Wesley’s violation of the IRS code was willful turned largely on the auditor’s testimony, the fact that Wesley had consented to the accuracy of those tax audits, and the fact that he had agreed to liability for increased taxes plus penalties and interest. (p. 2)

Wesley’s removal stands.

About the Author

Susan McGuire Smith spent most of her federal legal career with NASA, serving as Chief Counsel at Marshall Space Flight Center for 14 years. Her expertise is in government contracts, ethics, and personnel law.