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Public Statements

Thrift Savings Fund Clarification Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. BUERKLE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me, and I rise today in support of my legislation, H.R. 4365, which would make Thrift Savings Plans subject to Federal tax levies. Currently, TSP accounts are not listed in the IRS Code provisions identifying property that is exempt from tax. This bill makes clear that the TSP accounts are to be treated the same as 401(k)s and similar retirement and savings accounts held by private sector employees.

This bill is about fairness, Mr. Speaker. It will treat Federal employees the same as private sector employees.

H.R. 4365 adds needed clarification to existing law and provides guidance to the Thrift Board on how to honor IRS levies as they arise. In 2010, the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice concluded that TSPs are subject to levy. And last week, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which oversees TSP accounts, wrote Congress asking that this issue be clarified expeditiously, noting that the lack of clarity is causing significant operational issues.

At the end of 2010, Mr. Speaker, the most recent year for which IRS data is available, 279,000 Federal employees owed $3.4 billion in Federal taxes. And the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that enacting this legislation would increase revenues by $24 million over the 2012-2022 period.

Mr. Speaker, $24 million may seem like a small figure to some inside the Beltway. However, I believe any savings Congress can produce in today's fiscal environment is significant.

This is a commonsense solution which received bipartisan support in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Similar legislation also received overwhelming support in the Senate. I urge passage of this bill.

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