On Jan. 10, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced the Tax Accountability Act of 2017 (H.R. 396), which would prevent individuals with federal tax liability ineligible for federal employment. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which Chaffetz chairs, has scheduled the measure for mark-up on Jan. 31.
Specifically, the measure calls for terminating federal employees unless they qualify for an exception, already are on installment plans or have their salaries levied. It also calls for creating penalties, including termination, for failing to file federal tax returns.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), more than 97 percent of the federal workforce is fully tax-compliant—a higher rate than the general public. Moreover, the federal workforce already is uniquely tracked by the IRS through the existing Federal Employee/Retiree Delinquency Initiative (FERDI).
Similar legislation was also introduced in the 113th and 114th Congress but never gained traction.