Taxes

Al Sharpton, Tax Protester?

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Sharpton sticks it to the (tax) man:

sharpton

Sharpton himself, his business entities and his nonprofit civil-advocacy group owe millions in back taxes, documents show….

As of 2006, the most recent year that financial documents for [Sharpton's National Action Newtwork] are publicly available, it owed $1.9 million in payroll taxes and penalties….

Personally, Sharpton owes $931,397 in federal taxes and $365,558 in New York City taxes, according to an IRS lien.

When you throw in Wesley Snipes, it's a trend of two tax-dodging celebs! It's sweeping the nation!

UPDATE: Read the proud history of the "trend of two" here

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  1. And he’s even nuttier than the Browns.

  2. If he gets sent to prison, maybe he’ll get to find out what Tawna Brawley pretended to feel.

  3. Maybe he convert to Islam.

  4. I am shocked, shocked to find Al and his organization doing something that they would surely excoriate others for. Shocked, I say.

  5. Don’t be going and correcting no Ebonics after the fact, Marcvs.

    Snipes I have some sympathy for, but not Sharpton.

  6. Well this proves what I’ve long suspected, the IRS is racist.

  7. “Snipes I have some sympathy for, but not Sharpton.”

    Look, I’ll grant you that Al is just a con-man/grifter, but he’s lovable con-man/grifter.

  8. Oh, man, is this ever going to be fun to watch.

    I’m looking forward to the greatest courthouse-steps interview in human history.

  9. Bonero wins the thread.

  10. Damn it all. This is what I hate about researching topics similar to the “big news”. It becomes very hard on these here interwebs to winnow through all the recent chaff looking for old grains.
    Ergo, I was looking for Al Sharpton’s past statements on taxes and who should pay for what but all I am digging up is his current, ahhh, situation. So, if someone would be so kind as to post links to the Al Sharpton Reservoir of Crazy? I’d appreciate it.

  11. Interesting facet of payroll taxes – because the employer holds them in trust for the gov’t, corporate liability does not protect the personnel at the entity from the end responsibility of paying the owed withholding taxes. So someone at that organization is going to be on the hook for that $1.9 mm no matter what.

  12. Were Sharpton and Leona Helmsley pals? I’m sensing one of those “What, me pay taxes?” moments on the horizon.

  13. Ska-
    Only the trust fund portion.

  14. We shouldn’t conflate a legitimate tax protester with a racist gas bag.

  15. Not surprising.

    Is it OK to cheat on your taxes? A total of 57 percent of those who described themselves as “very liberal” said yes in response to the World Values Survey, compared with only 20 percent of those who are “very conservative.”

    http://www.kxmb.com/getArticle.asp?ArticleId=244191

  16. I hope he winds up sharing a cell with fellow tax protester “Dr.” Kent Hovind; that has all the makings of a decent reality show.

  17. Two possibilities:

    1. Sharpton is a principled tax protester.
    2. Sharpton thinks he can not pay and scream racism if someone calls him on it.

    Any guesses as to which is correct or to suggest another possibility?
    BTW, doesn’t he still owe a huge fortune for a slander suit?

  18. Mister DNA-

    I have no problem with Mr. Hovind’ claim that social security is a ponzi scheme. I ain’t no bible boy, but render unto caesar that which is Caesar’s should not be read as good christians must surrender the fruits of their labor to the state.

  19. Mister DNA-

    After all, isn’t one of the commandments “thou shalt not pilfer….”

    I don’t recall the commandment coming with a qualifier such as “with the exception of the united states government.”

  20. Kwix – ironically, I found this –

    The Washington Times – November 1, 2003, Saturday, Final Edition – “Reverend [Sharpton] announced that he supports a two-year grace period from federal taxes for start-up small businesses. “Most small businesses fail in the first year,” he told The Washington Times, “so let’s give entrepreneurs a period of no taxation so they can get their operations on their feet.”

  21. Not surprising.

    Is it OK to cheat on your taxes? A total of 57 percent of those who described themselves as “very liberal” said yes in response to the World Values Survey, compared with only 20 percent of those who are “very conservative.”

    Not surprising at all. People who self describe as VERY liberal are people who are reflexively anti-authority and transgressive, who would screw the government for no reason other than sticking it to the man.

    People who self-describe as VERY conservative are people who are reflexively deferential to authority, who would consider it to do their duty to the the man even if they hated it.

    Eryk Boston,

    Possibility 3: Al Shaprton is a fuck-up who runs a dysfunctional organization, and nobody is minding the till.

  22. However, he has a history:

    Daily News (New York)- May 25, 2003 Sunday
    REV. AL’S ON THE ROAD AND OFF THE BOOKS

    “There was his indictment and acquittal on charges of tax fraud and grand larceny. And he pleaded guilty in 1993 to failing to file a tax return, a misdemeanor.”

  23. I’ll friggin’ vote for Sharpton next time around if he comes out saying that paying taxes is like paying 30 pieces of silver to the Man, and that minorities shouldn’t pay them at all. A taxpayer revolt right about now might help straighten things out.

  24. Of course, the most prominent tax protesters in American history were very liberal pacifists who didn’t want to feed the War Machine.

    No, not surprising at all.

  25. And here’s one you’d expect, although taxes are only mentioned in passing: Daily News (New York)- May 3, 2002, Friday

    SHARPTON HITS BUSH & SOFT DEMS

    “He said center-right “pro-death penalty, pro-military buildup, pro-tax cut” politicians hold too much sway in the Democratic Party. “They will be challenged in 2004,” he said.”

  26. “Of course, the most prominent tax protesters in American history were very liberal pacifists who didn’t want to feed the War Machine.”

    I know you were trying to be snarky, but with the edit, it’s actually true.

  27. Kolohe,

    It’s true without the edit.

    The Quakers, for example.

  28. Al Sharpton, Tax Protester?

    No.

    Al Sharpton, Asshole.

  29. Hmmm..no taxes for the first two years as a way to make small businesses last longer?

    Wouldn’t that guarantee every small business in America would last for exactly two years?

  30. No that was Fred’s Bar * Grill. It’s closed.
    This is a new business. Freddy’s Bar & Grill.

  31. I love the “Settle IRS Debt” banner ad from Tax Inc. that I see at the top of the page.

  32. Come to think of Kohole, it’s true all sorts of different ways.

    liberal

    pacifist

    liberal pacifist

    They all work.

  33. “People who self describe as VERY liberal are people who are reflexively anti-authority and transgressive, who would screw the government for no reason other than sticking it to the man.”-joe

    While the very liberal may love to screw the government personnally, with the tax policies they actually vote for they tend to throw the rest of us under the bus. Sorry, even if what you claim is true, that just makes the very liberals even worse pricks.

  34. joe-
    I was thinking specifically of the Tea dudes that were definitely not pacificists but did not want to feed George’s war machine (which was more precisely paying for a war already fought)

    And there’s also the Whiskey dudes that were definitely not pacifists but did not want to feed George’s war machine (which was more precisely paying for a war already fought)

  35. Al Sharpton, Tax Protester?

    No.

    Al Sharpton, Asshole.

    Al Sharpton, African-American bagpipe!

    (oops, sorry – wrong thread.)

  36. Wouldn’t a struggling new small business pay no taxes anyway, because they are making no profits?

  37. Wouldn’t a struggling new small business pay no taxes anyway, because they are making no profits?

    Well, if they have employees, they always have to pay employment taxes (i.e. the employer’s half of payroll taxes). I don’t know if that’s what Sharpton had in mind, however.

  38. Heh.

    Given that for economic policy “liberals” are generally socialists while the “conservatives” are the economic libertarians, one does enjoy the irony that the very people who want everyone else to pay more find paying less than their fair share least immoral.

    Fairness is apparently a wonderful quality when coercively applied to others.

    Now, if we can just get more conservatives to realize that the coercion in social policy (e.g. the drug war) makes just as little sense as socialism and works even less well.

    I give them 50 years to come to the unavoidable truth. Am I too optimistic?

  39. I don’t know where you’re from, joe, but in these united States “traditional” in politics is de-facto synonymous with such concepts as “classical liberalism” and ideas passionately represented by the Gadsen flag; that is: individualism, liberty, and a touch of republican (of a republic) minarchy. “Conservative,” leaning toward “traditional,” then shares much of that; though people who use the term with conviction differ with regard to what specifically they’re conserving.

  40. Retreats into generalities is about what I expected, and ya’ll didn’t disappoint.

    I’m from America, Toast. I’m from the America of Emerson and Thoreau. I’m from the American of extremely liberal, pacifist Quakers who went to jail during WW1 and WW2 and Vietnam because they refused to fund war.

    “Even if what you say is true…” Uh, it’s true. It’s rather easy, in this age of the internet, to google Quakers or look up Tax Protesters on Wikipedia. Even if it conflicts with what you’d like to believe.

    Kolohe, those are good points, too.

  41. Just goes to show you that in tough times, even the shakedown artists suffer.

  42. So I wonder why the IRS has not swooped in and taken everything this tax dodger owns? What are they waiting for I wonder?

    JT
    http://www.Privacy-Center.net

  43. al is an asshole, but so is the irs, so go al, i guess.

    “”People who self describe as VERY liberal are people who are reflexively anti-authority and transgressive…”

    not necessarily, but hockey is a confusing game to my simple mind. play on!

  44. Joe,

    I think your explanation of the “very liberal” persons who justify cheating on taxes for political reasons is plausible, but a better explanation might be that people who identify as “very liberal” are often against holding people accountable without taking a holistic view to the persons actions. There aren’t very many people who are so extremely liberal they’d be willing to go to jail as an act of civil disobedience against war taxes and conscription. However, there are more liberals who defend criminal behavior by looking at a big picture: how was the criminal raised, could the victims afford the loss, etc.

    Hence, the very liberal don’t see tax cheating as a big deal because the tax system is complex, the cheaters have plausible claims to ignorance or confusion, and Uncle Sam is an unsympathtic victim because he’s amorphous and not hurting for money.

  45. “People who qualify as VERY liberal are reflexively anti-authority”
    Would that include Noam Chomsky, who never has a problem blaming the US for all international problems?
    But then, how would explain his effusive praise for a totalitarian dictators in places such as Cuba? Wouldn’t that mean that he really loves authority?

  46. but render unto caesar that which is Caesar’s should not be read as good christians must surrender the fruits of their labor to the state.

    How…how should that be read?

  47. “Retreats into generalities is about what I expected, and ya’ll didn’t disappoint”

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Joe you would be wise to remember the adage about those living in glass houses. I see you making the most ridiculous generalizations about Republicans and conservatives all the time. As a matter of fact, your whole argument about Very liberal and Very conservative taxpayers is yet another ridiculous generalization, of the type in which you always engage. That you actually have the nerve to call out others for making generalizations shows what a dimwitted fuck-up you really are.

  48. “Uh, it’s true. It’s rather easy, in this age of the internet, to google Quakers or look up Tax Protesters on Wikipedia.”-joe

    For the record, joe sets up this as a general mindset comparison of the “very liberal” and the “very conservative”. When called on it he then retcons the “very liberal” group he’s referring to into this rather narrowly defined and somewhat oddball slice. This group of liberals were withholding tax payments to protest the foreign policies of the Prgressive (i.e. very liberal) administrations of Wilson, FDR, and LBJ.

    joe, you were not originally talking about this group specificaly and even so I do not think they are particularly representive of the typical “very liberal” person.

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