Federal Eye: Federal employees owe $3 billion in taxes

Federal workers owed more than $3 billion in income taxes in 2008, according to the Internal Revenue Service, a figure down slightly from the year before.

The agency reported that 276,300 current and retired federal employees owed $3,042,200,000 in 2008, down from $3,586,784,725 in unpaid taxes in 2007. The list includes White House and Congressional staffers and current and former active-duty and reserve members of the military.

The agency provides an updated snapshot of tax habits among current and former federal workers each year and provides copies of the list to reporters upon request. The agency does not provide similar snapshots of the total number of all American delinquent taxpayers.

In a sign that the IRS practices what it preaches, the Treasury Department, which includes the tax-collecting agency, had the best compliance rate of Cabinet-level departments. Less than 1 percent of employees were delinquent with their taxes.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development fared worst among Cabinet departments, with slightly more than 4 percent of workers owing a combined $4.76 million.

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