Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) wants to publish the tax debts of federal employees and retirees online in a report compiled by the Treasury Department.
Braun recently introduced the Federal Employees and Retirees with Delinquent Tax Debt Initiative (FERDI) Act (S. 3184). Text from the bill states the following regarding its purpose:
The Secretary of the Treasury (or the Secretary’s delegate) shall submit to the relevant committees and make a public on the internet an annual report on current and retired Federal civilian and military employees who have delinquent tax debt or an unfiled tax return for the most recent fiscal year.
The report would include civilian federal employees, retired federal employees, active duty military employees, military reserve or national guard employees, and retired military employees.
It would apply to any of these individuals that have delinquent tax debt or an unfiled tax return. Individuals with an installment agreement would be excluded.
The bill’s wording as currently written states that the report would contain “the aggregate balance owed and the delinquency rate for each such category…broken down by federal agency.” It does not state that any names of individuals would be included in the report.
I reached out to Senator Braun’s office for more information and/or a statement from him about the bill and will update the article with any additional information I receive.
Past Bills Involving Tax Debts of Federal Employees
Past bills introduced in Congress have addressed tax delinquency within the federal workforce.
Former Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), for instance, introduced legislation that would have barred individuals with seriously delinquent tax debt from federal employment.
Former Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced a bill that dealt specifically with Internal Revenue Service employees. It would have denied performance awards to agency employees who had outstanding tax debts.
In 2015, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced legislation that would have withheld bonuses from federal employees who are delinquent on their taxes or have engaged in documented misconduct.
Each of these bills ultimately failed to advance, but they did indicate that Congress has some interest in the subject of tax delinquency within the federal workforce.