by Christopher Jacobs
Is Lois Lerner in charge of determining which politicians to audit at the IRS?
That’s a relevant question from a recent Washington Post article looking into Joe Biden’s taxes. The Post received confirmation that the Internal Revenue Service declined to audit Biden’s returns from the years before he became president. But separate reporting confirmed that the IRS did audit Donald Trump’s returns from the years before he became president.
This raises an obvious question: Why the disparity?
This important question comes as Democrats want to give the IRS $80 billion in new funding over a decade, along with new enforcement authority—including to obtain additional information about ordinary Americans’ bank accounts. It also applies to a government agency that, thanks to Lerner, harassed conservative non-profits, and faces unanswered questions about the mysterious leak of tax records to the leftist website ProPublica.
Given these developments, it’s worth asking whether the audit disparity represents another instance of federal bureaucrats politicizing the tax code—and whether such an agency deserves even more funding and power.
‘Fact Checker’ Analysis
The Post column, from its “Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler, came after he said “a reader”—full disclosure: me—asked him to look into whether Biden paid his proverbial “fair share.” I want to give Kessler credit publicly for examining the matter in detail, unlike reporters at Politico and other outlets like the Associated Press and New York Times, whose reporters, when I raised the issue of Biden underpaying his taxes, gave me a polite brush-off.
That said, Kessler dodged a definitive judgment on either of the two separate issues regarding Biden’s taxes. The first is the fact that, from 2017 through 2019, Biden exploited a loophole he now wants to close—because his own Treasury Department says it allows “business owners, particularly those with high incomes, to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”
As I had previously explained, Biden and his wife Jill funneled their book and speech income through two S-corporations. Because they characterized most of that revenue as corporate profits rather than wages, they avoided payroll taxes (which fund Medicare and Obamacare) on more than $13 million worth of income.
Kessler said, “Whether Biden is being hypocritical or not is in the eye of the beholder.” To which Biden himself might respond, “Come on, man!” If you spent the past four years using a loophole that your own Treasury secretary declined to employ for her speech income, you have absolutely no right to close it for others—and if you try, you have every right and expectation to get called on it.
‘Reasonable Compensation’ Test
The second question involves whether Biden, having used a legal, albeit politically hypocritical, loophole, did so in an illegal manner. That is, did he deliberately underpay his salary (as opposed to end-of-year profits for the corporation) in a way that violated IRS guidelines on “reasonable compensation?”
On this, the experts Kessler interviewed, as well as others, agreed. Biden likely underpaid himself, and by a substantial amount. After all, in 2017 Biden paid himself only $145,333 in salary—a roughly 37 percent drop from his $230,700 salary as vice president the prior year—while reaping more than $10 million in corporate profits at year’s end. The low salary vis-à-vis his amount of profits, particularly when all the income came from his own intellectual work product—as opposed to, say, a factory or restaurant where dozens of other employees contribute to the business—all suggest Biden violated the IRS guidelines.
Yet Kessler says that “whether his tax strategy was especially aggressive or par for the course is also a matter of interpretation.” The thin reed Kessler uses to cling to this position stems less from the fact that Biden’s actions were appropriate, and more from the fact that several experts said the IRS wouldn’t bother to challenge Biden’s questionable conduct. But speeding is still speeding, whether a cop pulls you over for it or not.
Why No Audit?
That gets to the most interesting nugget in Kessler’s piece: “A White House official said the IRS declined to do any audits of the Biden tax returns in 2017, 2018, or 2019.” Presidents are subject to automatic audit only for those returns filed while in office, and Kessler reported the returns from the time he was out of office did not get extra IRS scrutiny.
But a New York Times article last year confirmed the validity of statements Trump had made about his tax returns remaining under audit: “The records that the Times reviewed….match his lawyers’ statement during the 2016 campaign that audits of [Trump’s] returns for 2009 and subsequent years remained open.”
So why did Trump’s returns get subjected to what the Times called “a decade-long battle with the Internal Revenue Service,” while Biden’s returns got a free pass from the IRS, notwithstanding the articles and public scrutiny of Biden’s conduct? Does the IRS (as it claims) lack the resources to investigate items like the Biden controversy, or is something more nefarious or explicitly political afoot?
Of course, there’s one way to find out. If House Democrats want to investigate the way the IRS administers presidential tax returns—the stated claim behind their subpoena for Trump’s taxes—then they can request documents from the IRS regarding how it handled Biden’s returns for 2017, 2018, and 2019. For instance, they can study whether the public articles about Biden’s use of this loophole prompted any re-assessment of his returns by IRS staff, or should have.
Because weaponizing government agencies against their political rivals is what usurping, Marxist governments do.
Nate how can you even think such thoughts of our ever honorable employees in the IRS and other agencies?
Well there is this little incident pulled from the memory hole.
Because Trump is likely hiding state and federal criminal tax evasion, while Biden’s tax records have been made public for decades.
You don’t inflate the value of property by hundreds of millions for loan purposes while simultaneously undervaluing it to the same degree for tax purposes, without evading taxes, committing bank fraud, or both.
If idiot Biden’s records have been public, why hasn’t the IRS looked into this crooked behavior? You simply make the point being made in the article; Democrats don’t get raked over the coals like Trump is. If they did, we would have far less an argument against such political fishing expeditions, but the fact of the matter is, it is nothing but unconstitutional harassment, HOPING to find something of political use.
“Likely” isn’t a reason for investigation. EVIDENCE is. You really don’t get it, do you?
“You don’t inflate the value of property by hundreds of millions for loan purposes while simultaneously undervaluing it to the same degree for tax purposes, without evading taxes, committing bank fraud, or both.” And you don’t do it because lending institutions won’t let you. They don’t just “take your word for it” when you show assets as collateral for a loan, you dolt; THEY go out and appraise it.
And the tax office values the property for tax purposes.
“This raises an obvious question: Why the disparity?” Cmon, man!
“The first is the fact that, from 2017 through 2019, Biden exploited a loophole he now wants to close—” Income from extortion and influence peddling doesn’t exactly get claimed as income, so idiot Biden can afford to close the loophole he exploited mercilessly (and illegitimately) to screw the nation out of hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxes, even as he preached “pay your fair share”. But, he’s no different from other Democrat leaders; they all skimp on their taxes as they rake in millions on words (never anything that produces anything useful).
Hunter needs to be audited because we need to know where the millions of dollars he has raked in (on the power of his expertise in… NOTHING) has gone, as he himself says he was having to kick in 50% to “Pops”. So, did idiot Biden pay taxes on THAT?
“After all, in 2017 Biden paid himself only $145,333 in salary—a roughly 37 percent drop from his $230,700 salary as vice president the prior year—while reaping more than $10 million in corporate profits at year’s end. ” Idiot Biden also had Hunter pay much of his expenses. As opposed to the suspicions the left invents in their hollow heads to try and justify delving into ALL of Trump’s personal finances outside of his public service, the probable cause in idiot Biden’s case is right there in the open for all to see. The IRS consciously ignores it… for political reasons.
Of course, remember the treatment the Clinton’s got when that charitable foundation that does no charity work “forgot” to declare $1 million in foreign contributions. “Oops. I guess we forgot.” was good enough to get out of any penalties, interest or audits. There seems to be no part of the government the totalitarian police state Democrats have not weaponized against their enemies… US.
Comrade Greggie says:
“Because Trump is likely hiding state and federal criminal tax evasion, while Biden’s tax records have been made public for decades.”
Translation: Comrade Greggie doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about (because his CCP handlers didn’t tell him) so he makes another one of his useful idiot comments using terms like “likely, maybe, might have, could have been, possibly, etc.”
He also just showed he doesn’t really know how real estate loans are granted.
Why are those on the left so damn stupid?
Do you know why the Trump Organization has already been charged by the State of New York, and Trump himself was just invited to submit a deposition? I’m sure you must be following the stories very closely.
No, Comrade Greggie, I don’t fixate on squabbles with New York Democrats who would sell their own mothers if it benefitted them.
I am still waiting for Andrew Cuomo to be charged by the State of New York for sexual misconduct. Until that happens, no Democrat in New York has any credibility.
But you listened closely as Liz Cheney read Mark Meadow’s January 6 emails verbatim this evening , I imagine. Surely you must have some interesting insights regarding what was revealed.
well, the village idiot believes Chaney who is a on her way out. I wonder why the village idiot was not concerned with all of the presidents who encouraged demonstrations of people without weapons at the capitol in past years? Maybe that was because democrats didn’t label those demonstrations an insurrection! Chaney was declared the village idiot for WY.
Wow, you are really invested in that, aren’t you? What does that have to do with corrupt idiot Biden cheating on his taxes?
How many “bombshells” have to blow up in your face before you become more critical of the propaganda you promote?
“The January 6 committee isn’t about charging him. It’s about exposing what he did–and then FAILED to do–so plainly that no reasonable person will be able to miss the significance of it.” The FBI already determined there was no coordination or Trump involvement. Your little kangaroo kommittee is desperately grasping at straws. Pathetic.
Sure we have a Trump org that gave perks to this guy who didnt claim on the perks on his taxes as income, Trump was never charged with anything. BFHD and whooptedooda So everyone that gets a company car for use has to claim it as income? How about those frequent flyer miles when they are used …is that income too?
Get a friggin grip Greg. Trump himself has not been charged.
Charges against Trump could be where the tax cases are headed.
The January 6 committee isn’t about charging him. It’s about exposing what he did–and then FAILED to do–so plainly that no reasonable person will be able to miss the significance of it.
Meadow’s emailed this evening show where the investigation is headed. They’re getting very close.
Sure they are buddy, remain in your fantasy as you have for 4 or 5 years. You seem happy with lies and conspiracy theories. Funny thing the prosecution of Maxwell, never called a single customer of Epstein, like Slick Willie who was a traveling companion on a regular basis.
Hey I hear CNN scored Wallace to try to get some ratings.
Have to do a polka …
Oh you can have him,we dont want him hes to left for me.
Meadow’s emailed this evening show where the investigation is headed. They’re getting very close.
The walls are closing in.
Trump/ DeSantis 2024
You bet big on Mueller and lost big. You never learn.
If straw grasping were a sport you’d be one of the best.
Once again the usual “proof” completely exonerates president Trump of any wrongdoing.
What’s the next hoax crime you’re going to accuse him of?