Federal workers in the United States owe over $3 billion in back taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That comes out to roughly 3 percent of federal workers having unpaid taxes. While this may seem like a high number, it is low compared to the overall population. The IRS said that at least 8.7 percent of the overall population owes back taxes

Federal employees from various branches of the government have unpaid taxes and have received delinquent notices from the IRS. It is important to note that federal employees are treated the same way as the rest of the population by the IRS.

What happens if you owe back taxes? Regardless of where you work or who you work for, if your tax payment is delinquent, the IRS may be coming after you. 

Delinquent taxpayers typically receive two bills for the unpaid taxes the IRS is trying to recover. If the IRS doesn’t receive any payments, they may garnish an employee’s wages or even seize his or her property. 

Receiving a delinquent tax notice can a big surprise for many taxpayers while others may have known it was coming. Regardless of your level of surprise, delinquent tax notices can spell trouble. The IRS continues to go after tax debt and unpaid taxes and it can be difficult to work with the IRS.

In addition to paying the back taxes, you may also have to pay penalties and face other punishments for unpaid taxes. This can be very difficult to afford, especially for those who could not afford to pay their back taxes in the first place.

What can you do if you are being contacted by the IRS for unpaid tax debt? You may want to consult an attorney to make sure your rights are not being violated and to protect yourself from penalties and other punishments that could impact the rest of your life.

Source: NBC News, “Thousands of Federal Workers Owe Billions in Back Taxes,” May 22, 2014