PSH-19-0026 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On July 18, 2019, an Administrative Judge determined that an Individual should not be granted access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710. During his background investigation, information was revealed that the Individual failed to file returns or pay taxes in 2016 and 2017 or pay owed taxes for 2004. At the hearing, the Individual explained that he owed money to the IRS in 2004 due to receiving a lump sum payout from a retirement fund when he left his employment and he did not realize that he needed to pay tax on it. When the Individual received the tax bill, he did not have the funds to pay the tax due. As for his 2016 and 2017 tax returns, the Individual explained that he was injured in September 2016 and that he was unable to work for two months.  During this time, his wife was not employed.  When his tax return was due in April 2017 and again in April 2018, the Individual and his wife failed to file their taxes because they did not have the income to pay any tax amount due. The Individual also provided evidence that he filed and paid his federal and state tax returns for 2016 and 2017 and paid his 2004 tax liability. While the Administrative Judge found that several Guideline F mitigation factors were applicable to the Individual they were outweighed by the fact that the Individual failed to file these returns, as well as his failed to pay his 2004 tax obligation, until prompted to do so because of the hearing.  The Administrative Judge found that this created serious doubt as to the Individual’s commitment or ability to be trusted to follow security rules or regulations. Further, there was no other evidence in the record that established that the Individual’s prior failure to file taxes would not occur again in the future. Given the presented evidence, the Administrative Judge determined that the Individual had not mitigated the security concerns under Guideline F. Therefore, the Administrative Judge determined that the Individual should not be granted an access authorization. OHA Case No. PSH-19-0026 (Janet R.H. Fishman).