As employees of the United States Postal Service®, we have a legal, moral and fiduciary obligation to obey the tax laws of our country. As both citizens and public servants who are obligated to uphold the public trust, we are ethically mandated to complete and file all required tax forms for our federal, state and, where applicable, local taxes. We are required by appropriate taxation laws to pay all of our required taxes in a timely and accurate manner.
Regrettably, the USPS® has recently received a number of notifications from federal, state and local taxing authorities indicating that an increasing percentage of our employees have some type of income tax delinquency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service (and several other federal agencies) have issued Federal Tax Levies and Salary Offsets against approximately 8,000 of our employees. To have this many employees with a balance owed is more than just an issue between the IRS and an individual. When USPS employees are viewed as being non-compliant with the proper payments of their federal taxes, it impacts the public’s confidence in our abilities to conduct our assigned mission of delivering the mail.
The IRS wants to assist all USPS employees in meeting their tax filing and payment requirements. Adherence to these requirements will help all USPS employees to avoid costly penalties and the potential of tax enforcement action by the IRS. Please note that the IRS provides free tax information and services to inform and assist taxpayers concerning tax laws and individual responsibilities. Call toll free at 800-829-1040 to contact an IRS representative for further federal tax information.
Additionally, state and local taxing authorities as well as state courts have reported an increase in the number of USPS employees with outstanding state tax levies, unpaid student loans or commercial garnishments. During calendar year 2007, we processed more than 33,000 of these orders from these state and local entities. As with federal taxes, USPS employees are reminded that they are responsible for prompt payment of all of their debts.
Also, many state and local taxing authorities are reporting large numbers of incomplete or missing forms regarding the withholding of their appropriate state/local taxes. If you work in one of the 41 states that currently have an income tax, please make certain that the correct state taxes are being withheld. If they are not (e.g., if you recently moved to an assignment in a different state from your last assignment), you should immediately complete the state tax form that is appropriate for your new work location. If you work in a locality that is subject to taxes through payroll deduction, and the correct deductions are not being assessed from your pay, you should immediately complete a Form PS 4, Employee’s City or County Withholding Certificate. In either case, these forms must be forwarded to the following address for processing:
HR Shared Service Center
PO Box 970400
Greensboro NC 27497-0400
Employees are reminded that appropriate state/local employment taxes are withheld from salaries based upon your work location, not your place of residence. For example, if you work in a state and/or locality that assesses a tax, the appropriate tax is withheld because that is where you work. Although you may live in a non-taxing state/locality, your place of residence has no bearing upon the payment of taxes at your work location. Note: Some states do have bilateral agreements concerning the collection of state taxes. However, there are no such official agreements concerning local taxes.
All employees are bound by the materials contained within the Code of Ethics, Principles of Ethical Conduct for Government Officers and Employees. This includes Principle 12 which states, “An employee shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those — such as federal, state or local taxes — that are imposed by law.” It is essential that all Postal Service™ employees adhere to the highest possible ethical standards concerning the payment of their taxes and other debts.