Raskin Leads National Capital Region Members in Urging Administration to Let Federal Workers Opt Out of Mandatory Payroll Tax Deferral

September 9, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) today led his National Capital Region colleagues in urging the Administration to make President Trump’s payroll tax deferral program optional rather than mandatory for the nation’s 1.3 million federal workers. Since President Trump’s August 8th announcement of the mandatory payroll tax deferral, federal employees, industry stakeholders, and employers have expressed opposition to the plan.  

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Voght, and Office of Personnel Management Acting Director Michael Rigas, the Members wrote: “We are writing you about the Administration’s decision to implement a mandatory payroll tax deferral for our nation’s 1.3 million federal employees, starting with the next pay period in September. We are deeply concerned by reports that there will be ‘no option’ for workers to opt out of this deferral. We urge the Administration to immediately reverse course and pursue an opt-in system that will allow federal employees to freely choose whether or not to have their payroll taxes deferred. At the very least, there must be an explicit opportunity to opt-out of this presidential offer.”

The Members continued: “The Administration has insisted that it is ‘implementing the deferral to give our employees relief as quickly as possible.’ If the policy truly intends to provide federal employees relief, then employees should have a free choice whether to seek this ‘relief.’ We have already heard concerns voiced by numerous constituents who do not want their payroll taxes deferred only to have their paychecks substantially reduced at the end of the deferral period. Organizations representing federal employees have noted that many employees may be unprepared or unable to meet the higher tax obligation in 2021. Employees who are unable to repay tax obligations would face penalties and interest on deferred payroll taxes.”

A copy of the letter is available here.

In addition to Rep. Raskin, the letter is signed by the following Members: Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), David Trone (D-MD), John P. Sarbanes (D-MD), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (D-VA), Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Kweisi Mfume (D-MD), and Anthony Brown (D-MD).

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