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Beyer Urges Military, Federal Workforce Tax Deferral Options

A bipartisan group of 43 U.S. Representatives led by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) Friday wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urging the Administration to allow members of the military and the federal workforce the flexibility to opt in or out of the payroll tax deferral created under President Trump’s Aug. 8 Executive order.

The ultimate implementation of that order allowed private sector employers to determine whether they would participate in the program, but made it compulsory for service branches and the federal workforce.

As the letter noted, Secretary Mnuchin was asked in a hearing last week whether he was willing to grant the same choice to those collecting a government paychecks, and replied that doing so would be “reasonable.”

“Federal workers and members of the military also report feeling unfairly singled out for mandatory payroll tax deferral,” they wrote. “Private companies and business organizations were given the flexibility not to participate in the program, and have largely elected not to defer collection of payroll tax obligations.  The United States Postal Service, likewise, exempted its employees from the policy. Presented with this contrast in a recent hearing, you responded that it would be “a reasonable issue” to allow federal employees and military service members the same flexibility that the Administration granted to the private sector. We applaud this sentiment, and ask that you put it into practice forthwith.”

 The letter’s 43 signers included 39 Democrats and four Republicans.