Senators Still Concerned About Unexpected Tax Bills for Some Federal Employees

View this article online at https://www.fedsmith.com/2018/11/20/senators-still-concerned-unexpected-tax-bills-federal-employees/ and visit FedSmith.com to sign up for free news updates
By on November 20, 2018 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments
Image of Senators Mark Warner and Time Kaine

Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA)

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.

History

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

Want to see more articles like this one? Sign up for FedSmith's free email lists!

© 2019 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

Tags:

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

Top