Sunday, November 23, 2008

Please, Send Me My Earnings Reports In Spanish

The smear campaign against tax-dodging/top tax legislator Congressman Charlie Rangel (NY-D) continues.

In July, the New York Times reported on Rangel's four rent controlled apartments. In August, the New York Post first reported on Rangel's "beachfront villa in a sun-drenched Dominican Republic resort." NyPo followed up with another attack on his failure to report income from the villa. Then there was the report of Rangel using his official congressional stationary to solicit money from constituents for a Columbia University Center to encourage minority participation in government.

Today's installment of Get Charlie comes, again, from Nypo:

Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel took a "homestead" tax break on a Washington, DC, house for years while simultaneously occupying multiple rent-stabilized apartments in New York City, possibly violating laws and regulations in both cases.
What really caught our eye in this Nypo installment of Get Charlie was Nypo's detailing of the excuses Rangel used for not reporting rental income on his Dominican villa:

At first, Rangel blamed the accounting mishaps on sloppy bookkeeping and his wife, who he said was in charge of the family's finances. He also said he did not receive regular financial reports from the Punta Cana Resort and did not understand the paperwork because it was in Spanish.
We knew about Charlie's gentlemanly act of blaming his wife, but this is the first we have heard of Charlie using the "No comprendo" excuse.

We tend to shy away from giving tax advice at EPJ but, folks, the "It was my wife's fault" and the "No comprendo" excuse are being used by the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the committee from where all tax legislation emanates. If he isn't prosecuted for this I think you have to consider these legitimate defenses for under reporting income. Thanks, Chuck.

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