The House Government and Oversight Reform Committee passed by voice vote a bill that would allow the federal government to fire employees with outstanding tax liens, and bar taxpayers with outstanding liens from taking federal government jobs. A second bill will prevent seriously delinquent taxpayers from getting government contracts.
The National Treasury Employees Union objected to the bill, and they may have a point. Under IRS policy, the Service must file a lien if the amount owed exceeds a minimum amount and the payment plan extends beyond a maximum term. So if a federal employee makes a mistake on a return, mandatory liens could cost him his job even if he or she is making payments on the debt under an agreement with the IRS. If it seems like the rule should have exceptions for these circumstances, it does.
Similar legislation is working its way through the Senate.