Stephen Moore was already a horrible choice for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board based on his incompetence, alone, but now we learn there’s a federal tax lien against him for more than $75,000. Naturally, he got some sympathetic air time on Fox News to tell us all he’s really a victim. Because on Fox News, it’s always OK if you’re a Republican.
As The New York Times explained, a federal tax lien for $75,328.80 from the 2014 tax year was entered against Moore in 2018. Moore is taking no personal responsibility for it:
In a phone interview on Thursday, Mr. Moore said the lien was the result of a “huge miscalculation” on the part of the Internal Revenue Service, and that he had been frustrated by the agency in a yearslong effort to resolve the issue.
Mr. Moore said that for a single tax year, he had claimed both the value of alimony to his former wife, which is deductible on federal tax forms, and also the value of his child support payments to her, which are not eligible for a tax break. He said the child support amounted to about $18,000, which, given his tax bracket, worked out to about $6,000 in taxes that he owed but did not pay.
“My accountant made a mistake,” he said.
Following an audit, Mr. Moore said, the I.R.S. deemed his return for that year “fraudulent” and disallowed the full value of his deductions. With penalties and fees, that amounted to a tax bill of more than $75,000.
Mr. Moore said that he and his current wife have tried for years to resolve the issue with the I.R.S., including dispute resolution, but have not succeeded. He said he overpaid his taxes by $50,000 in a subsequent year in an attempt at resolution, and has not heard from the agency in nearly two years.
But, The Times noted, the Trump White House thinks owing the IRS over $75,000 is no biggie for a high-level federal position – and that means Fox News is happy to send the same message to its viewers.
Moore appeared on Fox’s Your World show today to let us all know our fears that he'll be a Trump lackey are well founded. Moore responded to a question about White House’s National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow’s call for cutting interest rates by saying, “Great minds think alike.” It just so happens that Kudlow has shrugged off Moore’s tax problem as an “overpayment and refund issue” that would not stand in the way of his confirmation.
However, Cavuto questioned Moore as to whether he would be an independent voice on the Fed (as he should be). Moore’s answer was not reassuring.
“First of all, I think this president has done a phenomenal job on the economy. I mean, I am so proud of him. I’m proud to have worked with him on the campaign and helped on the tax bill. I mean, it’s working better, frankly, than I thought it would.” Moore said. He noted a few areas of disagreement, such as spending and tariffs and he’s “concerned about the deficit.” But, Moore quickly added, “On balance, look, I love what he’s doing, I will be an independent voice.”
Cavuto sounded almost apologetic when brining up the pesky tax lien.
"Because you're up for a very big job, they hunt and dig for everything including this notion that you owe the IRS $75,000 on back taxes. What's going on there?" Cavuto asked.
MOORE: So we underpaid our taxes by $6000, I think it was in 2014, because of a mistaken deduction we took. We overpaid our taxes, we estimate by our accountant, by about $40-50,000 in 2015, and somehow that comes out to we owing the IRS $75,000. Now one thing I would say, people, when these numbers come out people will see this. The other problem I have with the IRS, Neil, you know how long we've been waiting to resolve this with the IRS? For over two years, we’ve heard nothing from the IRS, the taxpayer advocacy group over there has not responded, we can't get the auditor to respond, it is extraordinarily frustrating, and I bet a lot of people watching this show who've been audited by the IRS have the same frustration.
The big question is why the IRS deemed Moore’s original return fraudulent. But Cavuto didn’t ask. In fact, Cavuto let Moore get by without even mentioning the finding of fraud. Instead, Cavuto said helpfully, "You're challenging them. You’re in a dispute with them over this. You don’t believe you owe this.”
"We want a resolution. We want to present our evidence,” Moore said, even though one would imagine he presented evidence at the audit. “They owe us money, we don’t owe them.” Maybe that's true, but the public deserves the whole story.
Anyone want to bet the IRS will suddenly announce, “Oops, we made a mistake” and thus pave the way for another of Trump’s worst people to undermine another of our institutions?
Watch it above, from the March 29, 2019 Your World.
NewsHounds Ellen also contributed to this post.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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