Senators Still Concerned About Unexpected Tax Bills for Some Federal Employees

Two Senators are again pressing the GSA to do more to help some federal employees who could potentially face an unexpected tax bill.

Two Senators want the General Services Administration to do more than it has so far to help federal employees deal with taxes on relocation expenses.


A change in the new tax law left some federal employees who relocate for work with unexpected and potentially large tax bills by eliminating deductions for job-related moving costs.

Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) have pressed the GSA in the past to work faster to rectify the situation. Now they want the GSA to do more than it has and have sent a new letter to agency head, GSA Administrator Emily W. Murphy, seeking further action.

The Senators believe there is more that should be done to help federal employees understand this tax law change and manage their tax liability. They want the agency to fully inform civilian federal employees about their options in handling the cost of additional taxes now due on any federally-paid moving costs, and to be proactive in helping workers who may face the biggest additional costs.

Programs such as the Relocation Income Tax Allowance (RITA) and the Withholding Tax Allowance (WTA) are in place to help these workers, but the Senators say they will not have the intended effect unless workers understand how the new tax law is being implemented, are aware of these tools, and know how to properly use them.

“It has come to our attention that federal agencies are not proactively helping federal workers to minimize the difficulty of paying taxes on reimbursed or paid for moving costs, and many federal workers are confused about how this new provision is being implemented,” wrote the Senators. “This is especially troubling for federal workers that are likely to have significant moving costs but modest pay, such as our military teachers being sent overseas as part of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).”

A copy of the letter is included below.

2018-11-16 GSA Relocation Expenses Letter

About the Author

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.