Right-wing state and federal lawmakers all over the country are asking Main Street Americans to sacrifice their education, health, and wellbeing by ramming through massive budget cuts and even tax increases on the working and middle class to finance tax cuts for the wealthiest among us.
And at the same time, corporate tax dodgers are getting away with paying little to nothing. For example, megabank Bank of America paid literally nothing in 2009 in corporate income taxes.
Now, a new audit by the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration finds that almost a dozen federal contractors that were delinquent on their taxes in 2009 nevertheless received billions of taxpayer dollars that same year:
For Tax Year 2009, we identified that 10 of the 11 contractors owing delinquent taxes also received payments totaling approximately $3.7 billion from other Federal agencies. To identify the Federal agencies and the payments made, we researched the contractors’ tax accounts. These agencies included the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, General Services Administration, Department of the Interior, and Department of Veterans Affairs.
While the report says that it lists the eleven contractors it investigated on Appendix V on page 20, a review of that page reveals blank boxes with numerical totals at the bottom, indicating that the report intends to shield the identity of the contractors for the time being:
Earlier this month, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced legislation that would prohibit “any person who has a seriously delinquent tax debt from obtaining a federal government contract or grant.” All across the country, a Main Street Movement has sprung up that is demanding fair sacrifice rather than economic policies that attempt to balance budgets on the backs of the great American middle class. This movement rightly points out that it is simply unfair for lawmakers to continue to demand more from those who have already sacrificed too much while allowing tax dodgers to get away with highway robbery.
A Treasury official responds by noting that the IRS disputes parts of the report: “The amount of tax revenue that could potentially be collected was clearly overstated by TIGTA. In all, 99 percent of the $3.8 million in outcome revenue highlighted by TIGTA involves adjustment-pending cases, and it is misleading to highlight this figure because the dollar amounts were in dispute by the taxpayers. It is important to note that in these instances taxpayers have submitted evidence that raise legitimate concerns about the accuracy of an underlying tax payment, and the IRS has a responsibility to investigate the merit of the taxpayer’s claim before initiating an enforced collection action. If the IRS determines that the underlying tax assessment is inaccurate, the taxpayer’s account is adjusted to the correct amount owed. The IRS is committed to making additional improvements involving contractors and building on the continued success of the Federal Payment Levy Program.”