Tax Debt May Be a National Security Risk

July 29, 2014 Taxation in USA

WASHINGTON D.C. – The US is putting state secrets at risk by granting access to sensitive defense information to individuals who owe the government significant amounts of back taxes.

On July 28th the US Government Accountability Office issued a new report showing that as at June 2012 approximately 83 000 employees of the US Department of Defense with significant security had unpaid taxes, posing a credible risk to national security.

According to the experts of the GOA, employees with access to secret, top secret and sensitive information regarding state security may intentionally sell or provide access to the information to a third party in order to raise the funds necessary to meet their tax debts.

In the report the GOA stated that in June 2012 Department of Defense employees owed a cumulative amount of USD 730 million, with an average tax debt of USD 2 700 per person, although in some cases the unpaid amount was as high as several million.

The GOA suggested that greater measure need to be implemented to allow the Department of Defense to assess the full financial situation of a potential employee, including collecting information about any taxes owed.

However, in its report the GOA also conceded that current regulations prohibit national tax authorities from disclosing to any other government department information on the amount of taxes owed by a taxpayer, and allowing such an information exchange would require the implementation of specific regulatory exemptions.

Photo By: Marcin Wichary