Posts tagged: IRS
A unanimous Idaho Supreme Court has rejected state Rep. Phil Hart's appeal of an order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest on grounds of legislative privilege; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com. In a seven-page opinion authored by Justice Jim Jones, the unanimous court held that the Idaho Constitution's legislative privilege clause from arrest or “civil process” during legislative sessions didn't protect Hart, or permit him to file his state tax appeal months later than anyone else would have been allowed to. “Hart's untenable argument flows from his misunderstanding of the word 'process,'” Jones wrote/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
A U.S. District Court Judge has cleared the way for federal prosecutors to proceed with their case against Athol Republican Rep. Phil Hart for failing to pay income taxes. Justice Edward Lodge handed down three orders today, all in favor the U.S. Government and against Hart. The north Idaho lawmaker had argued that feds should have been barred for serving him with a notice of deficiency while the Idaho Legislature was in session. Additionally, Hart had sought to have tax assessments reduced and foreclosure stalled on a parcel of his property in Kootenai County. Lodge ordered that there be no more delays in the matter and presented Hart with a firm schedule/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here.
Question: Hart's trial date is the day before November's general election. How does that play in his chances at re-election?
Phil Hart’s anti-tax battle hit the big time Monday, at least in Idaho. The visiting Idaho Supreme Court considered oral arguments in Hart’s continuing fight against income taxes and the justices appeared to have little patience for the Athol lawmaker’s claims that the state constitution shields him from tax collectors. At issue is $53,000 in unpaid state taxes, penalties and interest that the Idaho State Tax Commission ruled Hart owes. In a separate action, Hart faces a federal trial next year where the government is seeking to foreclose on his log home near Athol to recoup about $550,000 for several years of unpaid federal taxes and the corresponding penalties. Hart’s legal defense in both courts centers on a provision of Idaho’s state constitution that bars senators or state representatives from any civil process 10 days before and during the legislative session/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here. And: Coeur d'Alene Press coverage here.
Tax-protesting Idaho State Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, takes his appeal of his state income taxes to the Idaho Supreme Court today; the arguments start at 11:10 a.m. Pacific time in the old courthouse in Coeur d'Alene, second floor, Judge Luster's courtroom. S-R reporter Tom Clouse is there and we'll have a full report/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.
The U.S. Justice Department wants a federal judge to toss out Idaho Rep. Phil Hart’s arguments that his status as a state legislator should bar IRS claims against him for back taxes. Federal authorities are seeking to foreclose on Hart’s Athol, Idaho log home for $550,000 in back federal income taxes, penalties and interest. In fighting the move, Hart claimed that because a notice of deficiency was sent to him while the Legislature was in session, the whole case should be tossed out. His Kentucky lawyer, Charles McFarland, argued in court documents that Hart’s immune from being served any such notices during a legislative session, to “prevent interference with the state legislative process.” Wrote McFarland, “This has been a fundamental principle since the foundation of country and even the law of nations”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.
DFO: P'haps the feds are angry that they didn't get a robo-call about tonight's DVD unveiling at Templins?
Question: But, but, but don't they know he's Phil Hart & he's written a book about “Constitutional Money”?
Tax-protesting Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart has cited his status as a state legislator numerous times in seeking delays in his court fights over paying back state and federal income taxes, pointing to the state constitution’s clause protecting lawmakers from civil actions during sessions. Now he’s using it as an argument for dismissing a federal lawsuit to foreclose on his Athol home for back federal taxes. In Hart’s reply to the federal lawsuit, in which the Department of Justice is seeking to foreclose on the home to pay off more than a half-million dollars in back taxes, interest and penalties, his attorney charged that the IRS claim is “barred” because a “notice of deficiency” was sent to Hart while the Legislature was in session/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Are you surprised that Hart is trying to use his elective office to thwart the IRS again?
JohnA re: “Hart says IRS wrong re: payments”: Phil Hart has a very legitimate engineering business and is clearly entitled to his deductions, assuming he has written proof. If, as Larry asserts, they are are legitimate and provable, and all are being disallowed he should be able to prove that in court. Having prepared taxes for many years I’m guessing the end result will be that Phil will get his deductions, which should help to offset some of the interest and penalties that have accrued over the years. … I say let’s give Phil his day in court before we judge him too harshly.”
Question: Have we been quick to judge Rep. Phil Hart harshly (before his day in court)?
A state legislator from Athol filed an answer on Thursday to the federal government's lawsuit against him seeking to collect more than half a million dollars in back-income taxes. Rep. Phil Hart claims in the document that the IRS is wrong in asking him to pay eight years worth of business deductions, which he believes have been denied because of his book challenging the legality of the income tax. “No, they won't accept my answer,” Hart predicted of the federal government's reaction. “They never do in any lawsuit.” But his answer does kick off the legal process, he stated/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Are you surprised that state Rep. Phil Hart says the IRS and not he is wrong about what he owes in back taxes?
Tax-protesting Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart has asked for and received a 30-day delay in the deadline to file his legal response to federal authorities' move to foreclose on his Athol, Idaho home for years of unpaid federal income taxes, interest and penalties. Hart, acting as his own attorney, asked for a delay until Jan. 5, which is four days before the start of this year's legislative session, to allow him time to bring on and qualify an out-of-state attorney and get him up to speed to file the response. “Defendant Hart states that the purpose of the continuance is not for delay, but it is needed for him to obtain counsel and allow said counsel to be admitted … and review the case in preparation for filing an Answer,” Hart wrote in his motion to the federal court/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
DFO: Pardon my cynicism, in dealing with our Artful Tax Dodger who's the darling of the local Constitutional RINO movement, but I predict that Hart will hide behind his legislative immunity in January and continue to elude the tax posse pursuing him.
Question: What do you think?
I've received maybe half a dozen letters from the IRS over the years, and even though none have been really bad news, it's never welcome correspondence. There were two in today's mail, one addressed to me, one to Jeanette. “We're required to send a copy of this to both you and your spouse,” they say. At the same address? Regarding the joint return we filed? Yeah. So, just the one bit of bad news, but two copies. It seems our calculation (which was really TurboTax's) for our Form 1040 this year didn't agree with theirs. They figure we owed them $1.73 more, either because “we made changes to your return,” or “the payments claimed on your return did not match our records,” or “you owed other taxes or legal obligations” that they're required to collect/Fort Boise. More here.
Question: Have you ever received a letter from the IRS?
Item: About 42% of tax refunds will go to bolster savings/Office Hours
More Info: A recent survey by the National Retail Association found 42 percent said they will use refund dollars to pay down debt. Another 42 percent (which may overlap with the first 42 percent) say they will bolster savings accounts. Only 13 percent, the Grasshopper Constituency, say they'll use the bucks to splurge on something.
Question: How do you plan to use your tax refund?
On his Twitter account moments ago, Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, provided a link to 5 YouTube videos that “tells his side of the story and clarifies misleading articles in the press.” The video below is the first of that series. You can see the rest of the series here.
That means Hart’s total tax debt to the IRS, as identified in liens that are public record, should be reduced from $941,347.90 to $493,088.91. That includes the $471,269.79 the IRS has filed in liens against Hart personally, plus the $21,819.12 in liens it’s filed against another trust Hart set up as owner of his Hayden engineering firm; those liens are for business taxes and do not duplicate the other liens. When his state income tax debt of $53,523, an amount he’s still attempting to appeal, is added to the total, it brings Hart’s total state and federal tax debt for back taxes, penalties and interest to $546,611.91/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: What do you make of this latest development?
Item: Hart: A taxing adventure: Legislator’s ordeal has left him confident that income tax is
unconstitutional/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press
More Info: Speaking to the crowd of fellow Republicans in the Garden Plaza senior living facility in Post Falls, Hart discussed the birth of his income tax suspicions and the long road to his current litigation with the IRS and the recent House Ethics Committee investigation. If anything, he has only come out more confident that income tax is unconstitutional, he said.
Question: You have to give Hart credit for chutzpah, hunh?
A special House Ethics Committee has voted 4-3 along party lines to clear Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, of conflict of interest charges over his votes on various tax legislation while pressing his own tax fights against state and federal income tax. “I don’t think that the allegations were specific enough,” said Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry. “I hope if nothing else that come out of this, that it’s a wakeup call for all of us to be very careful about our appearances.” The three minority Democrats on the committee said Hart’s actions showed a pattern of ignoring the House rule that requires conflicts of interest be disclosed. They favored a motion to reprimand Hart and recommend his removal from the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, but it failed on a party-line vote. “I think that the behavior does reflect badly on all of us,” said Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum. “It reflects badly on the credibility of the body. So I can’t vote to dismiss here.” More here - Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise
Idaho Rep. Phil Hart, who has big tax disputes pending over back state and federal income taxes, sat on a three-member legislative subcommittee this year that reviewed new state tax rules for all Idaho taxpayers, and he cast the deciding vote on two of them. Those included a new rule for how the state Tax Commission should handle settlements of more than $50,000 in income tax liability - at a time when Hart was facing an order to pay $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest. Hart never mentioned his case or declared a conflict of interest. More here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise
The northern Idaho lawmaker at the center of a House ethics
investigation hopes to introduce legislation next year that would
eliminate the state income tax on wages and salaries. Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, said his proposal would bring Idaho’s
tax code back in line with what the income tax was originally intended
to be: a tax on business and investment profits, rather than on wages. “This issue is fundamental to Idaho’s (economic)
revitalization,” Hart said. “I don’t think our economy is going to
recover until we figure out how to bring jobs back from overseas. We
can’t do anything about that at the state level, but we can make Idaho
more attractive than the other 49 states”/William Spence, SR. More here.
Question: What do you make of plans by embattled Rep. Phil Hart to introduce legislation to eliminate the state income tax?
On Twitter, embattled Idaho Rep. Phil Hart has just posted this comment, plus 2 documents: “I thought it would be beneficial for anyone who so chooses, to be able to see the actual documents surrounding the House Ethics Committee and the alleged abuse of my legislative office. The charges are vague and frankly so vague they are difficult to answer. You can see both documents below. I stand firm that I never abused any privilege available to me as an Idaho Representative and I look forward to a thorough investigation and being cleared of these charges.”
Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart’s tax problems appear to be worse than previously disclosed. When federal tax liens filed against Hart’s various business entities are combined with the hundreds of thousands in liens the IRS has filed against him personally in his ongoing fight over back income taxes, the third-term Idaho lawmaker faces a total of more than $644,000 in outstanding federal tax liens. A state income tax judgment against him that he’s attempting to appeal pushes that total up to nearly $700,000/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.