Washington radio station WTOP has reported that the federal government is still chasing down nearly $2.8 billion in taxes from its own employees.Based on documents obtained by the station through Freedom of Information Act requests, WTOP reported this week that more than 450,000 active and retired federal employees did not voluntarily comply with federal income tax requirements for the 2005 tax year.

About one-third of the delinquent employees have entered into a payment plan, but the collective outstanding total is still upwards of $2 billion. The percentage of federal employees who still owe back taxes is 3.3 percent of the workforce, including retirees, still significantly lower than the noncompliance rate for the general public, which usually falls close to 15 percent.

The federal agency with the highest number of delinquent taxpayers is the United States Postal Service, where more than 55,000 employees owe more than $320 million. Close to 45,000 members of the National Guard, and nearly 40,000 active-duty members of the military followed. In percentage terms, the departments and administrative agencies with the most tax scofflaws among active employees were the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (9.4 percent), and the Government Printing Office (7.4 percent).

The agency with the best compliance rate was the Department of Treasury, which includes the IRS. About 3,000 Treasury employees (less than 2 percent of the agency’s workforce) owe close to $13.5 million.

More than 70 workers in the Executive Office of the President, which includes the White House, owed upwards of $650,000. About 20 of those employees have entered into a payment plan.

Links to the station’s collected statistics are available at www.wtop.com/?nid=428&sid=1034585.

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