Barletta: Want to Work at the IRS? Pay Your Taxes!
“It’s like having Lance Armstrong lead a task force on fair competition in bicycle racing.”
- Rep. Lou Barletta (PA-11)
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today backed legislation that prevents the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from hiring any new employees until the Treasury Secretary certifies to Congress that no existing employees are carrying significant delinquent tax debt. Under current federal law, the IRS Commissioner is required to fire employees for failing to file federal tax returns or willfully understating their tax delinquency, unless failure to pay is due to a reasonable cause. A 2015 Inspector General’s report, however, revealed that only 39 percent of the 1,580 employees with tax delinquencies were terminated. The bill, H.R. 1206, the No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 254-to-170 and now heads to the Senate for its consideration.
“Is it any wonder that Americans have lost faith in their government?” Barletta said. “More than half of IRS employees who owe significant back taxes are still working at the very agency that collects taxes. It’s like having Lance Armstrong lead a task force on fair competition in bicycle racing.”
The legislation specifically prohibits the IRS from extending an offer of employment to any individual until the Secretary of the Treasury submits written certification to Congress that the agency does not employ anyone with serious tax delinquencies. If the Secretary cannot make such a certification, he or she must submit a report explaining why, outline the remedial actions necessary to make such a certification, and indicate the time needed to complete the actions. The bill applied to all offers of employment after December 31, 2016.
“Tax Day was earlier this week, marking that painful day when millions of Americans had to sit down and write a check to the IRS,” Barletta said. “It is outrageous that the people who receive and process those checks may not have paid their own taxes. This is an offensive situation that has to be fixed.”