Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PolitiFact.com | Tampa Bay Times
Sorting out the truth in politics

Tax delinquencies aren't just a White House problem

The statement

Forty aides who serve President Barack Obama "owe $333,485 in back taxes."

Bloggers

The ruling

We got the latest numbers in an Excel spreadsheet from an IRS spokesman. His agency developed a reporting method in 1992 to comply with a congressional requirement that it provide annual reports on the tax delinquencies of federal employees.

In 2011, the last year for which the filing deadline has long passed, 3.62 percent of the civilian federal workforce — or 107,658 individuals out of 2.97 million federal workers — had an unresolved federal income tax delinquency.

This did not include taxpayers who have made arrangements with the IRS to pay off their tax debts. Rather, these are people who have not, cannot or will not pay.

The numbers we presented so far include only federal civilian employees, not military personnel or retirees, because of the implicit rationale made in criticizing these workers: Those who carry out the regular functions of government ought to be keenly aware of the need to pay their taxes. Altogether, these tax delinquents owed just over $1 billion.

But if you add active military members, reservists, National Guard and federal retirees, the number of delinquent individuals grows to 311,566, and the total owed climbs to $3.5 billion.

As for the White House, the Executive Office of the President had 40 tax delinquencies out of its 1,902-member staff in 2011, for a rate of 2.10 percent. These employees owed $333,485 altogether.

The delinquencies are of concern to some in Congress. But the House of Representatives and Senate have tax delinquency rates even worse than the White House's.

The House, including a staff of 11,812 and 435 lawmakers, had 454 tax delinquents in 2011, owing nearly $8.9 million, giving it a 3.71 percent delinquency rate. That compared with the White House rate (the Executive Office of the President) of 2.10 percent.

The Senate, with 100 lawmakers and 6,930 staff members, had a rate of 3.33 percent, with 234 individuals owing the IRS $1.9 million.

Putting all this together, the claim — that 40 staffers in the Obama White House are tax delinquents — is accurate. Yet when presented as an Obama White House phenomenon, it omits pertinent facts.

We rate this Mostly True.

Edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

Tax delinquencies aren't just a White House problem 04/05/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 5, 2013 8:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Motorcyclist killed in Pinellas Park crash, prompting road closures

    Accidents

    A motorcyclist was killed early Tuesday morning when he left the roadway and possibly struck a parked vehicle in Pinellas Park.

  2. Meet the five finalists for St. Petersburg College president

    College

    ST. PETERSBURG — In the last month, five finalists for the job of St. Petersburg College president have taken campus tours and answered questions from students, faculty and staff.

    The Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr., Midtown Center of St. Petersburg College, opened in 2015, is considered a major accomplishment by outgoing SPC president William Law. [SOPHIA NAHLI  ALLISON  |   TIMES]
  3. What you need to know for Tuesday, May 30

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Austin Mahone performs at the Y100's Jingle Ball 2016 last December in Sunrise. Read our interview with him this morning. [Getty Images for iHeart]
  4. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire

    Blogs

    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.
  5. At low point two years ago, West Tampa legion post has new home, new hope

    Veterans

    WEST TAMPA — Norma Hernandez is home again, playing bingo with her family.

    John Gebo calls out the numbers during bingo night at the West Tampa Memorial American Legion Post 248. 

The post closed its old headquarters two years ago as numbers dwindled and now occupies a new building. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times