WASHINGTON -- Attention, federal workers: Pay your taxes or lose your job.
That was the message sent Tuesday by the House, which approved the proposed Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act aimed at the estimated 98,000 federal workers who owed Uncle Sam about $1 billion in 2010.
The measure, sent to the Senate on 263–114 vote, would make anyone "seriously delinquent" on their taxes -- that is, with a debt for which a public lien notice has been filed -- ineligible for federal employment. Prospects for Senate action on the bill are uncertain.
"Employees who consciously ignore the channels and processes in place to fulfill their tax obligations must be held accountable,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the bill’s chief sponsor, said Tuesday. "In short, if you refuse to pay your federal taxes, you should be fired."