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Beyer Urges Federal Agencies To Improve Communication With Military, Federal Workforce About Payroll Tax Deferrals

In an appearance on Government Matters, Rep. Don Beyer strongly urged federal agencies to increase and improve communications with federal workers and military service members about changes in their paychecks which will begin in the current pay period as a result of President Trump’s payroll tax deferral. His interview came ahead of a Thursday hearing on the payroll tax deferral by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Beyer appeared on the program, which focuses on the federal workforce, immediately after the Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management, Michael Rigas. Rigas responded to Host Francis Rose’s questions about federal workers’ concerns that they will have to repay deferred payroll taxes by saying “we have to look forward to the opportunity” that deferred payroll taxes would be “made permanent” if President Trump is re-elected.

Rigas did not offer guidance to viewers of the show about how to prepare for decreased paychecks in early 2021, saying only that “federal workers who will be getting this payroll tax deferral will see extra money in their paychecks starting this week for federal workers, and that we hope will provide some relief to those [sic] during these economic times.” The Trump Administration previously blocked raises for the federal workforce, citing “economic conditions,” even as the President tweeted about having created the “greatest economy ever.”

Beyer followed Rigas by reiterating that his office has been contacted by numerous federal workers (and military service members) about concerns they will be required to repay deferred taxes, with particular worry about colleagues who may be unaware of reductions in their paychecks that will come in January. Beyer urged improved communication from federal agencies to ensure that those affected by the payroll tax deferral, saying “we need to make sure that people are planning ahead.”

Beyer represents more federal workers than any other Member of the House, and serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over tax policy. He has been a sharp critic of the President’s payroll tax deferral, especially its impacts on federal workers and members of the military, and is a cosponsor of legislation to undo the policy.