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S. 489: Federal Employees and Retirees with Delinquent Tax Debt Initiative (FERDI) Act


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 25, 2021.


Federal Employees and Retirees with Delinquent Tax Debt Initiative (FERDI) Act

This bill disqualifies individuals with delinquent tax debt from federal employment and requires the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to regularly publish a report on the tax liabilities of federal employees.

Specifically, the bill disqualifies both applicants and current employees with seriously delinquent tax debt from federal employment. The bill defines seriously delinquent tax debt as a federal tax liability that has been assessed by the Department of the Treasury and that may be collected via levy or court proceeding, with specified exceptions. Agencies must provide for appropriate review of public records to determine if there are any liens against applicants or current employees, and may take certain personnel actions against employees who willfully fail to file taxes or understate their liability.

The bill also directs the IRS to submit to specified congressional committees and make public online an annual report on current and retired federal civilian and military employees who have delinquent tax debt or an unfiled tax return for the most recent fiscal year. (The IRS currently investigates and reports on similar information through its Federal Employee/Retiree Delinquency Initiative, or FERDI).