Charlie Rangel-D NY tax cheat

Discussion in 'Politics' started by John_Wensink, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. This guy writes our tax policy and claims he doesn't know the rules.

    What a joke.

    Rangel Failed to Report $75,000 in Income
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    Published: September 5, 2008
    Representative Charles B. Rangel has earned more than $75,000 in rental income from a villa he has owned in the Dominican Republic since 1988, but never reported it on his federal or state tax returns, according to a lawyer for the congressman and documents from the resort.

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    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
    Representative Charles B. Rangel said through his lawyer that he did not know that he had to report the rent he received on the villa as income.

    Times Topics: Charles B. Rangel
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    David Kocieniewski/The New York Times
    Mr. Rangel’s three-bedroom villa at the Punta Cana Resort and Club in the Dominican Republic.
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    Mr. Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the federal tax code, bought the beachfront villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club and has received twice-yearly payments from the resort, which rents the property for $500 or more per night.

    Records from the development, now called the Punta Cana Resort and Club, indicated that Mr. Rangel’s rental profits varied from year to year, from $2,700 in 2004 to $7,600 in 1994.

    A lawyer for Mr. Rangel, Lanny Davis, said on Thursday that the congressman would most likely file amendments to his tax returns for the years in question.

    Mr. Davis said Mr. Rangel’s accountant believed he would most likely owe back taxes to the state and New York City.

    But Mr. Rangel will probably have no federal tax liability, Mr. Davis said, because he considered the villa an investment rather than a vacation home, and was therefore entitled to deduct depreciation on the property, as well as taxes the resort management paid to the Dominican Republic.

    Mr. Davis declined to release copies of the congressman’s tax returns and said he was gathering documents showing how often Mr. Rangel stayed at the home during the past two decades, a critical question because the Internal Revenue Service does not allow a property owner to deduct as much depreciation on a second home that the owner uses more than 14 days per year.

    Mr. Davis said the congressman did not realize he had to declare the money as income, and was unaware of the semiannual payments from the resort because his wife, Alma, handled the family finances and conferred with their accountant, John Viardi, on tax matters.

    The money was never sent to the Rangels directly, according to Mr. Davis and resort records, but was used to defray the mortgage the company gave them when they bought the villa and $23,000 in subsequent construction costs in 2003.

    The confusion was magnified, Mr. Davis said, by the fact that the statements from the resort were sent only intermittently. The congressman declined to be interviewed, but issued a brief written statement.

    “I have asked my accountant to review all the data recently made available to me by the Punta Cana Hotel in the Dominican Republic concerning my investment 20 or so years ago in purchasing a unit in that hotel for occasional use over the years,” the statement said. “Once my accountant obtains and verifies the facts, I will follow his recommendations.”

    Mr. Davis said that Mr. Rangel had paid scant attention to the villa’s finances until Sunday, when The New York Post reported that the congressman had failed to declare the rental income for 2006 and 2007 on his Congressional financial disclosure forms. “This is all news to him,” Mr. Davis said. A review by The New York Times of the records dating back to 1996 showed that the congressman also did not report the income in 1996 through 2000. Mr. Davis said on Thursday that Mr. Rangel would most likely file amendments to the disclosure forms as well.

    The disclosure is a sworn statement, and intentionally filing a false report is a felony that carries a possible five-year prison sentence, but in most cases the House ethics committee does not punish members for errors or omissions.

    New York State law classifies filing a false city or state tax return a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, but Kathleen M. Pakenham, a tax lawyer at the law firm of White & Case, said criminal prosecutions are rare and in most cases, the taxpayer is simply fined 20 percent of the back taxes owed. Under federal law it is a felony to “willfully” evade payment of taxes or file a false return, and sentences can include prison terms and fines of up to $100,000. But Daniel Goldberg, a tax law professor at the University of Maryland School of Law, said that the I.R.S. rarely pursued criminal prosecution or imposed fines in cases where no back taxes were owed.

    Whatever his legal exposure, the tax problems present a political embarrassment for Mr. Rangel, a Harlem Democrat who has sat on the Ways and Means Committee since 1975. As chairman, Mr. Rangel has pushed for higher taxes on the wealthy, unveiling a $1.3 trillion proposal last year that businesses denounced as a threat to the economy.

    His finances have been under scrutiny since July, after news reports that a major real estate developer had allowed him to lease four rent-stabilized apartments, including one he had used as a campaign office. Mr. Rangel announced he would give up the campaign office, but keep the other three, and asked the House ethics committee to investigate whether the landlord’s decision to charge him below-market rent should be restricted under the Congressional gift ban.

    In his memoir, “And I Haven’t Had a Bad Day Since,” Mr. Rangel described his deep affection for the Dominican retreat.

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  2. Rep Charles Rangel is the same congress critter who has 4 rent controlled apartments in Manhattan when there are poor and homeless people who can't get one rent controlled apartment.

    Nice to see that he has the same understanding of the tax laws as he does of New York's rent control laws and of Congressional ethical standards. Figures that our incomprehensible tax code is written by clowns like him.
  3. Rangel also kicked Cheney out of his office back in 07 just because he could. Cheney is the VP for chirssakes.
  4. Is there some secret provision of the tax code that exempts black politicians from paying taxes? We had similar "dog ate my tax return" stories from Marion Barry and Eleanor Holmes Norton here in DC.

    Rangel is head of Ways and Means, the committee in charge of writing tax laws. If he can get away with a BS story like this, I don't see why anyone should bother filing a return. He should be looking at a federal indictment for criminal tax fraud. The average citizen certainly would. Willful failure to report income is generally considered criminal tax fraud and will get you a jail term. The wimpy republicans will no doubt let him skate. Bush et al throw the book at a couple of Border Patrol agents, but have all the sympathy in the world for a left wing dirtbag.
  5. kut2k2


    Couldn't find it. Maybe it's just another case of top "reporting" from newsmax. :p
  6. kut2k2


    Your racism notwithstanding, Rangel will pay the taxes along with any penalty fees. Not that this will satisfy you, but it will satisfy all sane Americans.

    People of all races with money get caught up in tax problems all the time, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. As long as they obey the law when it catches up with them, only guys like you act like it's the crime of the century.

    What this does show is that our tax code, which was already ridiculous when Rangel first joined Ways and Means, needs a complete overhaul. If you think anybody in either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party is going to actually do anything about it other than talk about how "awful" it is, you're naive.
  7. Oh please, if it were a Republican you and z10 screaming murder.

    The person who writes the tax law doesn't understand it? Are you kidding me?

    There are only two conclusions one can surmise:

    1. He's incompetant and should be fired.
    2. He's a typical democrat, do as I say not as I do.

  8. Yes, it's apparently racist to expect a black pol to pay taxes.

    It's by no means clear he doesn't owe significant back taxes. In case you don't know, he has the burden of proving he doesn't owe anything. Since he hid this income for 20 years, that could be a problem for him.

    I have all the sympathy in the world for some average taxpayer who fouls up. The Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, particularly one who wants to raise my taxes and is not shy about demagoguing the issue, gets no sympathy from me. This is not exactly some esoteric tax issue either. Everyone knows rental income is taxable. This is just about thinking he could get away with it, like he has all his other ethical violations.

    If he isn't prosecuted, it's just another example of one hand washing the other. One set of rules for the high and mighty, another for everyone else.
  9. Black people need real leaders. They always pick pretenders who enrich themselves, while letting the people suffer.

    Rangel, Sharpton, Jackson, McKinney, Jefferson......... It's a crime. A guy like Cosby comes along, they don't want to hear it.

    For the African American population as a whole to progress and get themselves on par with other ethnic groups, they need leadership. They have to do that. The rest of the Country can't.

    The few that step up are ridiculed. And there's Oprah. But what does she really do? Promote the wanna be. The first Black President has to be vetted like Jackie Robinson. He has to be perfect. Obama isn't going to make it, he's too flawed. But what if he were elected, and turned out like a Bill Clinton personally, or a Jimmy Carter politically. He would assure there'd be no other Black man elected for generations.

    Lots of impressive African Amer in business. Somebody. Step up.
    #10     Sep 5, 2008