A 38-year-old World Bank employe was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Baltimore to one year's imprisonment after pleading guilty to failing to pay $8,007 in 1979 federal income taxes.

Judge Shirley B. Jones suspended 11 months of the sentence against Eva J. Knight, of Camp Springs, ordering her to spend the remaining month in a work-release facility and placing her on two years' probation, according to the U.S. District Court clerk's office.

Knight, a $29,000-a-year staff assistant in the Asia department of the World Bank's International Finance Corporation in Washington in 1979, was originally charged with willful failure to pay federal income taxes totaling more than $20,000 for the years 1976 through 1979, according to an Internal Revenue Service spokesman.

Last month she agreed to plead guilty to the 1979 count, and the government dropped the charges on the other years, the spokesman said. Under an international agreement, he said, World Bank employes in the United States do not have federal taxes withheld from their paychecks but instead must file estimated tax returns on their entire income each year.

Knight filed no returns at all from 1976 through 1979, according to the IRS, but must now pay all back taxes for those years, plus interest and penalties.