Sensational Headlines Tell Story of Back Taxes Among Federal Employees

It's not like federal employees owe back taxes at a higher rate than the general public - but $3.5 billion certainly makes sensational headlines. Stephen Ohlemacher with the Huffington Post reports that $3.5 billion is the amount the IRS is saying federal employees owed in back taxes in 2011.

But the number should come as no surprise.

In 2010, current and retired federal employees owed $3.4 billion. So it seems that it's the same kind of number every year. Before we throw federal employees to the wolves - as if they were getting away with something - consider that the delinquency rate, according to Ohlemacher's report, is lower than that of the general public. (It's 3.2 percent versus 8.2 percent.)

But there are far fewer federal employees as compared to the wider population, so we're not sure whether the comparison makes much sense.

Nonetheless, it's clear that many federal employees - 312,000 of them - had trouble with IRS debt in 2011, and many thousands continue to have trouble every year. The moral of the story, perhaps, is that even if you work for the government, the government still wants to get paid.

At Ledford & Wu, we help taxpayers of all kinds with IRS offers in compromise, a process that helps reduce the amount of money you owe and settle your debt with the IRS.

Source: Federal Employees Owed $3.5 Billion In Back Taxes In 2011: IRS

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