Senate Amendment Targets Federal Employees Who Are Behind on Their Taxes

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) has introduced an amendment that would block bonuses and performance awards from being given to federal employees who are delinquent on their taxes.

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) has introduced an amendment that would block bonuses and performance awards from being given to federal employees who owe back taxes.

The amendment is part of the Senate’s debate on a 2016 budget. Senate rules allow any amendments proposed in the first 50 hours of debate on a budget bill to be eligible for two hours of debate each. This results in hundreds of amendments from which majority and minority party leaders will choose those which they find to be the most important.

A new IRS report released this week has apparently caught lawmakers’ attention. The report indicated that federal employees collectively owe over $3.5 billion in back taxes.

Roberts released this amendment in response to the IRS report and also introduced a similar bill in January.

“We learned just this week, that — according to the Internal Revenue Service — as of September 2014, 304,000 federal employees owe $3.5 billion in federal taxes,” Roberts said. “During this time of budgetary restraint, the government should not spend scarce taxpayer dollars giving bonuses to federal employees unwilling to pay their tax bill.”

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.