What a piece of crap. I hope he gets brain cancer.
By CHARLES HURT, DC BUREAU CHIEF
Last updated: 9:59 am
September 1, 2009
Posted: 2:31 am
September 1, 2009
WASHINGTON -- Even as he fends off accusations about his own failure to pay taxes and fully disclose his financial dealings, Rep. Charles Rangel had quietly slipped into the health-care bill broad new provisions cracking down on taxpayers in proceedings with the IRS, The Post has learned.
The changes approved by the House Ways and Means Committee that Rangel chairs would strip away legal defenses and pile higher penalties on corporate and individual taxpayers facing IRS proceedings for what they claim are unintentional mistakes, experts said.
Rangel's bill would:
* Punish those who fail to alert the IRS to potentially questionable tax exemptions.
* Bar the IRS from waiving penalties against taxpayers who clearly erred in good faith.
* Double fines in certain circumstances.
"The bill raises penalties and eliminates many of the reasonable defenses that taxpayers have always been able to use when honest mistakes are uncovered," one lawyer told The Post.
In fact, the bill increases fines "in some cases even for honest mistakes," the expert added.
Republicans yesterday ripped Rangel's attempt to go after taxpayers, given his own failure to pay taxes on rental income from his villa in the Dominican Republic and his extensive reporting problems with his financial-disclosure statements to Congress.
"It is highly ironic that Chairman Rangel continues to work to crack down on American taxpayers who make honest mistakes on their tax forms when he himself has failed to pay his own staggering tax bills," said Michael Steel, spokesman for Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).
"Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi should force him to step aside as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee until this baffling array of allegations are resolved."
In addition to $75,000 in rental income he failed to report to the IRS a few years ago, Rangel recently filed new papers revealing he neglected to disclose to Congress more than $1.3 million in income and $3 million in business deals between 2002 and 2006.
The Post reported last week that he also failed to pay taxes on property in New Jersey that he neglected for years to disclose he owned.
His office maintains he is now up to date on all his taxes.
The Rangel plan also would prevent the IRS from waiving punishment in cases where tax officials thought the penalty was excessive.
Under another provision, the IRS would require that taxpayers self-report areas where they may have gone over the line seeking tax advantages. If they fail to self-report and problems are found, tax penalties skyrocket.
The IRS becomes "judge, jury and executioner," said a lobbyist.
In one provision, the measure doubles the fine against the taxpayer from 20 percent of the underpayment to 40 percent.
As with many of the complex tax provisions buried in the 1,018-page bill, the severity of the self-reporting language is a matter of debate.
Advocates argue that the provision is intended only to go after flagrant tax cheats, but that's not clearly spelled out.