A new bill introduced last week is the latest attempt to prevent tax delinquents from winning federal contracts — or competing for government work at all.
This is the second bill attempting to force contractors to pay their taxes — a nearly identical bill was introduced in the last Congress. It comes despite existing acquisition provisions that require contractors to disclose any tax debts before they bid for work.
“Legislation that codifies, clarifies, and offers minimally invasive improvements to the Federal Acquisition Regulation could be beneficial,” said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and general counsel at the Professional Services Council, in testimony submitted for a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s government operations panel. “However, such legislation must be tailored carefully to avoid creating new challenges or points of confusion.”
In a nutshell, the latest bill states that any executive agency issuing a solicitation for a contract in an amount greater than the simplified acquisition threshold — currently $150,000 — must require all offerors to certify they have no so-called seriously delinquent tax debt. They also must authorize the Treasury Department to disclose information about that seriously delinquent tax debt.