Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has sent this letter asking the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) to investigate whether 33 members of Congress (7 Democrats and 26 Republicans. all men) who sleep in their offices are violating the tax law by failing to report the free lodging as a taxable fringe benefit. From CREW's press release:
[U]nder the Internal Revenue Code, members who sleep in their offices are receiving a taxable benefit. The IRS treats lodging as a taxable fringe benefit unless it is offered on the employer's business premises, is for the employer's convenience, and is required as a condition of employment. As living in a House office clearly is not a condition of serving in Congress, members must pay taxes for imputed income based on the fair market value of their lodging.
Notably, members of Congress and congressional staff already have imputed taxable income based on the fair market value of their reserved parking spaces. If members must pay taxes to lodge their cars, surely they must pay taxes for their own lodging.
"Americans expect members of Congress to follow the tax laws just like everyone else. If legislators are going to treat their offices as dorm rooms, at the very least they should pay the appropriate taxes."