pay your taxes
March 27, 2019

President Trump's likely nominee for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, Stephen Moore, owes the government more than $75,000 in taxes and other penalties, Bloomberg reports.

Bloomberg obtained a court filing from January 2018 showing the government won a judgment against Moore for $75,328.80. The filing stated it was for unpaid taxes from the 2014 tax year, and extra penalties could be added. It was filed in Montgomery County, Maryland, where Moore owns a home. Moore, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told Bloomberg any questions about the lien should go to his wife, Anne Carey.

Carey said that when filling out his 2014 tax forms, Moore accidentally claimed the sum of his alimony and child support payments to his ex-wife, but only alimony is deductible. Moore moved, she said, and never received the IRS notices that he had been audited.

Carey stated the couple will pay the fines as soon as possible, while still disputing the matter. She also said over the last few years, they've paid $50,000 more than they should have to the IRS and want that money refunded when they file their 2018 return. "It was not an attempt at defrauding the U.S. government," Carey told Bloomberg. Catherine Garcia

April 16, 2016

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama reported a combined income of $436,065 on their 2015 tax returns, the lowest figure yet since they moved into the White House. The couple paid $81,472 in taxes, The Washington Post reports.

The Obamas' income while in office peaked in 2009 at $5.5 million, due to earnings from the president's two bestselling books.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, reported earning a combined $392,233 in 2015, and paid $91,546 in federal taxes. Julie Kliegman

October 30, 2015

Florida senator and GOP presidential contender Marco Rubio claims that, under his tax plan, the poorest Americans see the biggest income gains — an assertion he reiterated at Wednesday night's debate. But Vox's Dylan Matthews just demonstrated that it doesn't add up.

In brief: Among many other changes to the tax code, Rubio would replace the standard deduction and personal exemption with a tax credit of $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for couples. Crucially, in Rubio's original proposal, that credit appears to be refundable — if some or all of the credit is left over after your tax liability has been completely wiped out, you get the remainder as a check. Over 40 percent of households had no income tax liability in 2015, so they would get a check worth $2,000 to $4,000.

As Matthews pointed out, this would be a downward shift in income, "of a kind that no Democrat, including Bernie Sanders, is proposing." It would deliver a massive boost to the bottom 10 percent of Americans, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation.

(Graph courtesy of the Tax Foundation.)

Except the Rubio campaign told Matthews that's not what they meant. "Our reforms would not create payments for new, non-working filers," a Rubio aide told Matthews in April. Matthews went back to figure out just what the aide meant by that, and as best he can tell, the income boost to the bottom 10 percent would actually be something like 0.5 to 1 percent.

So the bars on the far left side of the graph above are wrong, and should be way shorter — barely visible at all. Most of the other bars on the left side should be shorter, too.

Yet Rubio continues to use the Tax Foundation analysis to defend his plan, even though at least one of his own aides said it's wrong. Kevin Drum suggested Rubio and his campaign are knowingly lying, which is certainly the worst case scenario. The best case is they're all hopelessly confused about the most basic realities of their own proposals. Jeff Spross

September 22, 2014

The Treasury department plans to crack down on American companies that reincorporate overseas as a way to avoid paying taxes.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced Monday that new rules will help close the "glaring loophole in the U.S. tax code" that allows an American business to acquire a foreign company in order to switch its citizenship and avoid U.S. taxes. One target is "hopscotch" loans, where companies are able to get around paying taxes on dividends by loaning their earnings to the foreign company, USA Today reports. Those will now be taxable in the U.S. A requirement that the company's former owners own less than 80 percent of the new company is also being strengthened.

Lew said that these new rules are not meant to deter companies from merging. "Genuine cross-border mergers make the U.S. economy stronger by enabling U.S. companies to invest overseas and encouraging foreign investment to flow in the United States," he said. Catherine Garcia

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