H. Rept. 113-38 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)
April 12, 2013, As Reported by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee

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House Report 113-38 - FEDERAL EMPLOYEE TAX ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2013




[House Report 113-38]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


113th Congress                                             Rept. 113-38
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1
======================================================================
 
            FEDERAL EMPLOYEE TAX ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2013

                                _______
                                

 April 12, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Issa, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 249]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 249) to amend title 5, United 
States Code, to provide that persons having seriously 
delinquent tax debts shall be ineligible for Federal 
employment, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     2
Section-by-Section...............................................     4
Explanation of Amendments........................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     6
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     6
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     6
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     6
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     6
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     6
Earmark Identification...........................................     7
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     7
Committee Estimate...............................................     7
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     8
Minority Views...................................................    12

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    Most taxpayers file accurate tax returns and pay the taxes 
they owe on time, regardless of their income. Federal employees 
and individuals applying for federal employment should do the 
same. In 2011, the most recent year for which Internal Revenue 
Service (IRS) data is available, 107,658 civilian federal 
employees owed more than $1 billion in taxes. The average 
delinquency rate for federal civilian employees was 3.62 
percent, up from 3.33 percent in 2010.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Internal Revenue Service, Federal Employee/Retiree Delinquency 
Initiative (FERDI) Civilian/Military/Retiree Summary Report, September 
30, 2011.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Employees who consciously ignore the channels and processes 
in place to fulfill their tax obligations must be held 
accountable. The Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 
2013 addresses this area of non-compliance with our tax laws by 
prohibiting individuals with seriously delinquent tax debt from 
federal civilian employment. The intent of the bill is simple: 
If you are a federal worker or applicant, you should be making 
a good faith effort to pay your taxes or dispute them, as all 
taxpayers have the right to do. Holding federal employees who 
fail to meet their taxpayer obligations accountable will foster 
public confidence in the federal workforce.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Federal employees are called to account for paying taxes by 
the Code of Ethics for the Executive Branch.\2\ The Code of 
Ethics dictates that federal employees must ``satisfy in good 
faith their obligations as citizens, including all just 
financial obligations, especially those such as federal, state, 
or local taxes that are imposed by law.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\5 CFR 2635.809.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The IRS urges individuals to resolve their taxpayer 
obligations. Taxpayers who fail to pay all they owe receive a 
Notice of Tax Due and Demand for Payment, a bill including the 
tax owed plus interest and penalties. If the taxpayer does not 
respond to the first notice or subsequent notices sent by the 
IRS, their account balance becomes delinquent.
    Delinquent accounts may be turned over for collection, 
during which time an attempt will be made to reach agreement on 
a payment plan. Taxpayers who cannot pay their taxes on time 
have a number of options, including: (1) extension of time to 
pay; (2) installment agreement; (3) delayed collection; and (4) 
offer in compromise. Taxpayers who fail to cooperate with 
payment options may be subject to enforced collection action. 
The IRS affords individuals several avenues for 
reconsideration, including the right to appeal the collection 
action.
    During the collection process, the IRS may file a Notice of 
Federal Tax Lien to secure the government's interest. Once a 
lien has been filed, the IRS cannot issue a Certificate of 
Release of Federal Tax Lien until the taxes, penalties, 
interest, and associated recording fees are paid in full.
    In 1992, the IRS established the Federal Employee/Retiree 
Delinquency Initiative (FERDI) to promote federal tax 
compliance among current and retired federal employees. Under 
FERDI, the IRS annually identifies federal employees who are 
tax delinquent for appropriate follow-up action. In addition, 
the IRS contacts agency Chief Human Capital Officers with 
general data on delinquency rates on civilian workers. The IRS 
also provides information to support employee communication on 
tax compliance.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Statement of Beth Tucker, Deputy Commissioner, Wage and 
Investment Division, Internal Revenue Service, for hearing entitled, 
``H.R. 4735, a bill to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide 
that persons having seriously delinquent tax debts shall be ineligible 
for federal employment,'' U.S. House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, 
Postal Service and the District of Columbia, March 17, 2010, at pp 15-
18.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To help the IRS collect delinquent taxes more effectively, 
Congress included a provision in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 
1997\4\ authorizing the establishment of the Federal Payment 
Levy Program (FPLP), which allows the IRS to continuously levy 
up to 15 percent of certain federal payments made to delinquent 
taxpayers. Federal payments that can be levied through the FPLP 
include federal salaries, federal annuities, and federal 
employee advances or reimbursements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\26 USC 6331(h).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In March 2011, the Chief Human Capital Officers Council met 
to develop strategies to reduce the number of federal employees 
with delinquent tax liabilities. Agency heads discussed the 
federal employee delinquency rate in communications related to 
tax filing deadlines. For example, Office of Personnel 
Management Director John Berry sent an email reminding OPM 
employees of their responsibility to pay their taxes.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Email from John Berry, Director, U.S. Office of Personnel 
Management, April 15, 2011.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite these efforts, the percentage of federal employees 
with delinquent tax liabilities has increased. At the end of 
2011, the most recent year for which IRS data is available, 
107,658 federal civilian workers owed $1,012,998,984 in taxes. 
The 2011 data represents a ten percent increase in the number 
of tax delinquent federal civilian employees. The average 
delinquency rate for federal civilian employees was 3.62 
percent, an increase from 2010.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Internal Revenue Service, Federal Employee/Retiree Delinquency 
Initiative (FERDI) Civilian/Military/Retiree Summary Report, September 
30, 2011.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee agrees with the General Accountability Office 
that ``voluntary compliance with tax law, the foundation of the 
U.S. tax system, could be undermined if the public perceives 
that federal workers and former federal workers successfully 
evade their tax obligations.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\U.S. General Accountability Office, Internal Revenue Service: 
Unpaid Taxes of Federal Workers and Annuitants, GAO-01-195 (Washington, 
D.C.: June 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On March 3, 2010, Representative Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced 
H.R. 4735, a bill to amend title 5, United States Code, to 
provide that persons having seriously delinquent tax debts 
shall be ineligible for federal employment. The Subcommittee on 
Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia 
held a hearing to consider the legislation on March 17, 2010.
    H.R. 4735 was reintroduced in the 112th Congress on 
February 28, 2011, as H.R. 828. On April 13, 2011, the 
Committee ordered reported favorably H.R. 828, as amended, by 
voice vote. On July 31, 2012, H.R. 828 was passed by the House 
under suspension of the rules by a vote of 263-114 (Roll no. 
538). The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs. No further action was taken 
during the 112th Congress.
    At the start of the 113th Congress, H.R. 828 was 
reintroduced as H.R. 249.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    Establishes the short title of the bill as ``Federal 
Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2013.''

Section 2. Ineligibility of persons having seriously delinquent tax 
        debts for federal employment

    Individuals having seriously delinquent tax debts are 
ineligible for federal employment in the executive and 
legislative branch. ``Seriously tax delinquent'' is defined as 
an outstanding federal tax debt for which a notice of lien has 
been publicly filed. The bill exempts employees who are working 
to settle tax liabilities by excluding federal tax debts being 
paid in accordance with an installment agreement, offer of 
compromise, or wage garnishment; for which a due process 
hearing or request for relief from joint and several liability 
is requested or pending; or for which relief has been granted.
    The bill prescribes a scheme for conducting the tax reviews 
necessary to identify individuals who are seriously tax 
delinquent that is based on the July 29, 1977, Treasury 
Department Order granting the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 
Commissioner authority to undertake tax checks. First, agencies 
identify individuals ineligible for employment by requiring 
applicants to certify they are not seriously tax delinquent. 
Second, agencies periodically conduct reviews of public records 
for liens. If a lien is discovered, the individual submits a 
form to the agency authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to 
disclose to the agency head information on whether the 
individual has a seriously delinquent tax debt. Tax information 
disclosed to the agency head is confidential.
    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), in consultation 
with the IRS, establishes regulations to implement the bill. 
Individuals must be provided full due process rights and 
allowed 180 days to demonstrate their debt meets one of the 
exemptions (e.g., an individual has entered into an installment 
agreement). The bill provides a financial hardship exemption if 
the individual's service is in the best interests of the United 
States, and requires OPM to report annually to Congress on the 
number of financial hardship exemptions granted.

Section 3. Effective date

    The bill takes effect 9 months after the date of enactment.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    No amendments were adopted to H.R. 249.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 20, 2013, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 249, by voice vote, a 
quorum being present.

                             Correspondence

                                                    April 10, 2013.
Hon. Candice Miller,
Chairman, Committee on House Administration,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mrs. Chairman: Thank you for your letter regarding the 
Committee on House Administration's jurisdictional interest in 
H.R. 249, the ``Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 
2013,'' and your willingness to forego consideration of H.R. 
249 by your committee.
    I agree that the Committee on House Administration has a 
valid jurisdictional interest in certain provisions of H.R. 249 
and that the Committee's jurisdiction will not be adversely 
affected by your decision to forego consideration of H.R. 249. 
As you have requested, I will support your request for an 
appropriate appointment of outside conferees from your 
Committee in the event of a House-Senate conference on this or 
similar legislation should such a conference be convened.
    Finally, I will include a copy of your letter and this 
response in the Committee Report and in the Congressional 
Record during the floor consideration of this bill. Thank you 
again for your cooperation.
            Sincerely,
                                              Darrell Issa,
                                                          Chairman.
                              ----------                              

                          House of Representatives,
                         Committee on House Administration,
                                    Washington, DC, April 11, 2013.
Hon. Darrell Issa,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: I am writing concerning H.R. 249, the 
``Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2013,'' which your 
Committee reported on March 20, 2013.
    H.R. 249 contains provisions within the Committee on House 
Administration's jurisdiction. As a result of your having 
consulted with the Committee, and in order to expedite this 
bill for floor consideration, the Committee on House 
Administration will forego action on the bill. This is being 
done on the basis of our mutual understanding that doing so 
will in no way diminish or alter the jurisdiction of the 
Committee on House Administration with respect to the 
appointment of conferees, or to any future jurisdictional claim 
over the subject matters contained in the bill or similar 
legislation.
    I would appreciate your response to this letter confirming 
this understanding, and would request that you include a copy 
of this letter and your response in the Committee Report and in 
the Congressional Record during the floor consideration of this 
bill. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
            Sincerely,
                                         Candice S. Miller,
                                                          Chairman.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill prohibits individuals with seriously delinquent tax 
debt from federal civilian employment. Legislative branch 
employees and their families, to the extent that they are 
otherwise eligible for the benefits provided by this 
legislation, have equal access to its benefits.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    H.R. 249 requires the Office of Personnel Management, in 
consultation with the Internal Revenue Service, to promulgate 
regulations to determine whether federal workers or job 
applicants have seriously delinquent tax debt and are thus 
ineligible for employment. The regulations must provide certain 
due process rights, allow individuals 180 days to demonstrate 
their debt meets one of the exemptions provided in the bill, 
and allow employment to commence or continue if the 
individual's service is in the best interests of the United 
States.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement the Committee has 
received a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included 
herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    H.R. 249 does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of Rule XXI.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    H.R. 249 does not establish or reauthorize a Program of the 
Federal Government known to be duplicative of another Federal 
program.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 249. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that rule provides that 
this requirement does not apply when the Committee has included 
in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for H.R. 249 from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

                                                    April 11, 2013.
Hon. Darrell Issa,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 249, the Federal 
Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2013.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 249--Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2013

    Under H.R. 249, individuals with federal tax debt that is 
seriously delinquent would be ineligible to be appointed or to 
continue serving as an employee of the federal government. The 
legislation defines seriously delinquent tax debt as 
outstanding tax debt to the federal government for which a 
public lien has been filed. Tax debt that is being paid in a 
timely manner or is part of a requested or pending collection-
due-process hearing would not be considered seriously 
delinquent. Federal agencies would be required to have job 
applicants certify that they do not have such debt. The 
legislation also would allow agencies to review the public 
records of applicants or current employees; if a lien is 
discovered, agencies would be authorized to ask affected 
individuals to request that the Secretary of the Treasury 
confidentially disclose the status of that lien.
    Based on information from the Office of Management and 
Budget, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Joint Committee 
on Taxation (JCT), CBO estimates that, subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds, implementing H.R. 249 would 
cost $1 million in 2014 and less than $500,000 in subsequent 
years to create certification forms, develop new regulations, 
and review records of current and prospective employees.
    Pay-as-you-go procedures apply to the bill because it would 
affect direct spending and revenues. Agencies not funded 
through annual appropriations, such as the Tennessee Valley 
Authority and Bonneville Power Administration, would face some 
additional costs (as described above), but CBO estimates that 
any net increase in direct spending by such agencies would not 
be significant. JCT estimates that enacting the bill would have 
a negligible effect on revenues.
    H.R. 249 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBPART F--LABOR-MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


             CHAPTER 73--SUITABILITY, SECURITY, AND CONDUCT

                   SUBCHAPTER I--REGULATION OF CONDUCT

Sec.
7301. Presidential regulations.
     * * * * * * *

 SUBCHAPTER VIII--INELIGIBILITY OF PERSONS HAVING SERIOUSLY DELINQUENT 
                    TAX DEBTS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT

7381. Definitions.
7382. Ineligibility for employment.
7383. Review of public records.
7384. Confidentiality.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


 SUBCHAPTER VIII--INELIGIBILITY OF PERSONS HAVING SERIOUSLY DELINQUENT 
                    TAX DEBTS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT

Sec. 7381. Definitions

  For purposes of this subchapter--
          (1) the term ``seriously delinquent tax debt'' means 
        an outstanding debt under the Internal Revenue Code of 
        1986 for which a notice of lien has been filed in 
        public records pursuant to section 6323 of such Code, 
        except that such term does not include--
                  (A) a debt that is being paid in a timely 
                manner pursuant to an agreement under section 
                6159 or section 7122 of such Code;
                  (B) a debt with respect to which a collection 
                due process hearing under section 6330 of such 
                Code, or relief under subsection (a), (b), or 
                (f) of section 6015 of such Code, is requested 
                or pending;
                  (C) a debt with respect to which a levy has 
                been issued under section 6331 of such Code 
                (or, in the case of an applicant for 
                employment, a debt with respect to which the 
                applicant agrees to be subject to a levy issued 
                under such section); and
                  (D) a debt with respect to which relief under 
                section 6343(a)(1)(D) of such Code is granted;
          (2) the term ``employee'' means an employee in or 
        under an agency, including an individual described in 
        sections 2104(b) and 2105(e); and
          (3) the term ``agency'' means--
                  (A) an Executive agency;
                  (B) the United States Postal Service;
                  (C) the Postal Regulatory Commission; and
                  (D) an employing authority in the legislative 
                branch.

Sec. 7382. Ineligibility for employment

  (a) In General.--Subject to subsection (c), any person who 
has a seriously delinquent tax debt shall be ineligible to be 
appointed or to continue serving as an employee.
  (b) Disclosure Requirement.--The head of each agency shall 
take appropriate measures to ensure that each person applying 
for employment with such agency shall be required to submit (as 
part of the application for employment) certification that such 
person does not have any seriously delinquent tax debt.
  (c) Regulations.--The Office of Personnel Management, in 
consultation with the Internal Revenue Service, shall, for 
purposes of carrying out this section with respect to the 
executive branch, promulgate any regulations which the Office 
considers necessary, except that such regulations shall provide 
for the following:
          (1) All due process rights, afforded by chapter 75 
        and any other provision of law, shall apply with 
        respect to a determination under this section that an 
        applicant is ineligible to be appointed or that an 
        employee is ineligible to continue serving.
          (2) Before any such determination is given effect 
        with respect to an individual, the individual shall be 
        afforded 180 days to demonstrate that such individual's 
        debt is one described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or 
        (D) of section 7381(a)(1).
          (3) An employee may continue to serve, in a situation 
        involving financial hardship, if the continued service 
        of such employee is in the best interests of the United 
        States, as determined on a case-by-case basis.
  (d) Reports to Congress.--The Director of the Office of 
Personnel Management shall report annually to Congress on the 
number of exemptions made pursuant to subsection (c)(3).

Sec. 7383. Review of public records

  (a) In General.--Each agency shall provide for such reviews 
of public records as the head of such agency considers 
appropriate to determine if a notice of lien (as described in 
section 7381(1)) has been filed with respect to an employee of 
or an applicant for employment with such agency.
  (b) Additional Requests.--If a notice of lien is discovered 
under subsection (a) with respect to an employee or applicant 
for employment, the agency may--
          (1) request that the employee or applicant execute 
        and submit a form authorizing the Secretary of the 
        Treasury to disclose to the head of the agency 
        information limited to describing whether the employee 
        or applicant has a seriously delinquent tax debt; and
          (2) contact the Secretary of the Treasury to request 
        tax information limited to describing whether the 
        employee or applicant has a seriously delinquent tax 
        debt.
  (c) Authorization Form.--The Secretary of the Treasury shall 
make available to all agencies a standard form for the 
authorization described in subsection (b)(1).
  (d) Negative Consideration.--The head of an agency, in 
considering an individual's application for employment or in 
making an employee appraisal or evaluation, shall give negative 
consideration to a refusal or failure to comply with a request 
under subsection (b)(1).

Sec. 7384. Confidentiality

  Neither the head nor any other employee of an agency may--
          (1) use any information furnished under the 
        provisions of this subchapter for any purpose other 
        than the administration of this subchapter;
          (2) make any publication whereby the information 
        furnished by or with respect to any particular 
        individual under this subchapter can be identified; or
          (3) permit anyone who is not an employee of such 
        agency to examine or otherwise have access to any such 
        information.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                             MINORITY VIEWS

    Committee Democrats oppose H.R. 249, the Federal Employee 
Tax Accountability Act of 2013, which appears to be designed to 
advance a political message rather than to solve any real 
problem. We agree that federal employees, like all citizens, 
should pay their federal taxes. We also agree that federal 
workers hold the public trust and should be held to a high 
standard of conduct. The fact is that federal employees have 
met and exceeded that standard. As a result, this legislation 
is unwarranted, unnecessary, and counterproductive.
    This legislation is unwarranted because the tax delinquency 
rate for federal employees is less than half that of the 
general public. In 2011, the tax delinquency rate for the 
general public was 8.2%. In the same year, the tax delinquency 
rate for federal workers was only 3.62%.
    The legislation is unnecessary because the Internal Revenue 
Service (IRS) and other executive agencies already have 
procedures in place to recover funds from federal employees who 
are delinquent in paying taxes. For example, through the 
Federal Payment Levy Program, the IRS can impose a continuous 
levy on federal salaries and annuities up to 15% until the debt 
is paid. Agencies also have authority to initiate disciplinary 
action against employees for delinquent tax debts, which may 
include removal if necessary.
    The legislation is counterproductive because it would make 
it more difficult to collect unpaid taxes from federal 
employees by requiring their termination and eliminating the 
ability to impose levies on their federal salaries.
    During debate over this legislation, questions were raised 
about IRS rules and procedures regarding debt collection, 
options for resolving delinquencies, payment options, tax 
delinquencies of IRS employees, and other issues. The Chairman 
promised to obtain answers to these questions and to ensure 
that all necessary technical amendments were incorporated in a 
manager's amendment before the bill is brought to the House 
floor.
    On April 4, 2013, Ranking Member Cummings joined Chairman 
Issa in sending a letter to the IRS requesting specific 
information that Committee Members agreed was necessary to 
fairly and fully evaluate the need for this legislation. We 
look forward to receiving answers to these important questions 
and making necessary modifications prior to consideration of 
this measure by the House.
    Without this information, it is unclear whether various 
scenarios under which a taxpayer disputes a tax debt would be 
exempted under the bill. For example, it is unclear whether an 
appeal from a collection due process hearing, litigation 
proceedings in the U.S. Tax Court, or hearings under the IRS' 
collection appeals program would trigger an exemption.
    During the Committee's consideration of H.R. 249, 
Representative Speier offered an amendment that would have 
redefined ``seriously delinquent tax debt'' as debts that 
exceeded $25,000. The reasoning behind the amendment was to 
raise the threshold debt amount to a significant sum to justify 
making an existing federal employee or job candidate ineligible 
for employment. Rep. Speier withdrew her amendment based on 
assurances from the Chairman that the additional information 
sought from the IRS would be obtained prior to House 
consideration of the bill.

                                        Elijah E. Cummings,
                                                    Ranking Member.