“Had he not been nominated for treasury secretary, it’s doubtful that he would have ever paid these taxes.” Senator Byrd
WASHINGTON – Timothy Geithner was sworn in Monday night as the nation’s new treasury secretary, shortly after winning confirmation despite personal tax lapses that turned more than a third of the Senate against him.
When the treasury secretary-designate walked into his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday morning, he knew he would face questions concerning his non-payment of Social Security and Medicare taxes in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Geithner did not pay the taxes even though he accepted reimbursement from his then-employer, the International Monetary Fund, for taxes that he had not, in fact, paid.
A 2006 IRS audit forced Geithner to pay back taxes and interest for 2003 and 2004, Geithner didn’t pay for 2001 and 2002, due to the falsely claimed “statute of limitations,” until after he was nominated to be treasury secretary.
Before proceeding let’s clear up some important questions about the IRS statute of limitations.
Generally, there is a 3-year statute of limitations for the IRS auditing a tax return and a 10-year statute of limitations for the IRS collecting tax. If the IRS suspects fraud, and the IRS is the sole arbiter of fraud, there is no statute of limitations.
Republican, Sen. Jon Kyl repeated the falsehood about the IRS three-year statute of limitations for offenses such as Geithner’s. Kyl white-washed the matter by falsely stating that this meant that Geithner was not obligated to pay for his 2001, and 2001 taxes. Wrong!
This falsehood regarding the statute of limitations was repeated over every network and printed widely in the media. Were all these people so poorly informed, or were they promoting a convenient lie?
I do not think Jon Kyl and the networks were mistaken on this – they were making a deliberate (and very successful) attempt to deceive the public.
Case in point. I worked in Saudi Arabia. A year after I left, I received an IRS bill for $5,000, but with NO explanation of why I owed the money, nor had I been audited.
The years went by and the IRS kept after me for the money as I kept after them for a reason. After 13 years, to preserve my job, I paid them. By that time the amount was $30+ thousand dollars. Still, the IRS could never tell me why I owed the money, and I had never been audited.
I know whereof I speak; although I am a native-born U.S. citizen, I was formerly Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Inland Revenue for the Government of Singapore…where I worked closely with the IRS.