Another Tax Day, Another Senior White House Official Who Didn't Pay His Taxes Properly


This is all very taxing.

It's tax day, and whaddaya know: The New York Post has revealed yet another a senior Obama administration official who failed to pay his taxes properly:

US Attorney General Eric Holder and his brother failed to pay the property taxes on their childhood home in Queens, which they inherited last August after their mother died, The Post has learned.

And because their ailing mom, Miriam, was already behind on two quarterly tax bills when she succumbed to illness on Aug. 13, the charges went unpaid for more than a year—growing to $4,146.

It wasn't until The Post confronted Holder last week about the delinquency that he and younger brother William Holder finally paid up Friday, including $73.14 in interest.

I'm genuinely sympathetic towards political figures who don't manage to get their tax filings in perfect shape. Over the years, the tax code has grown into an impossible bureaucratic labyrinth, and compliance is now a sort of epistemological nightmare that even plagues the government: As my colleague Jacob Sullum recently noted, in some cases, highly trained tax professionals don't know for sure whether a filing is correct, and government experts who ought to know frequently can't say for sure either. In 2007, meanwhile, it was reported that the federal government was struggling to extract $3 billion in missing tax revenues from its own employees.

Even the taxmasters at the Internal Revenue Service can't keep track of their own agency's books: Last year, the Government Accountability Office reported that the IRS could not explain billions in accounting discrepancies: Essentially, the IRS failed an audit. The government and its employees, in other words, are just as confused by the tax code as anyone else.

But my sympathy for these sorts of cases only extends so far: At a certain point, one sort of expects that government employees and officials will stop making mistakes on their own taxes and start working to correct the numerous larger mistakes in the system. So far, I don't see that happening. 

NEXT: Brian Doherty on The Forgotten History of the Antiwar Right

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  1. Another Tax Day, Another Senior White House Official Who Didn’t Pay His Taxes Properly

    Gee, what are the odds of that ever happening???

    1. Looking forward to seeing how many of the class warriors took all of their deductions and paid only what they owe.

    2. Property taxes are pretty uncomplicated, compared to the horrendous mess that is the income tax rules.

  2. No sympathy here. Why should they be held to a lower standard ?

    1. Because they are stupid and that really shouldn’t be a crime – most of the time.

      1. Because we’re stupid and let them get away with it.

  3. I saw a future in an orange jumpsuit for this guy. I have trouble imagining he’s not doing something illegal in there somewhere.

    Is that libel?

    1. No, because it’s almost impossible to get through a day without doing something illegal.

    2. Is that libel?

      I’m thinking about it.

      1. I guess I’ll need a little more information.

        So what color is your skin?

    3. He’ll be looking for a new job soon if there’s any justice at all in the world (I know, who am I kidding?).

      1. That’s pretty damning, JD.

      2. “I don’t know what all the issues are but we are all adults, we are all professionals, and we have a (sic) exciting opportunity to use the biggest tool in our law enforcement tool box. If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work ? period! This is the pinnacle of domestic U.S. law enforcement techniques. After this the tool bag is empty. Maybe the Maricopa County Jail is hiring detention officers and you can get paid $30,000 (instead of $100,000) to serve lunch to inmates all day?We need to get over this bump in the road once and for all and get on with the mission at hand. This can be the most fun you have with ATF, the only one limiting the amount of fun we have is you!?e-mail from David J. Voth, group supervisor, Phoenix Group VII”

        yeah I bet those einsatzgruppen guys had a fucking ball too

  4. I’m genuinely sympathetic towards political figures who don’t manage to get their tax filings in perfect shape.

    I’m not. Fuck them, one and all. Sow, reap, etc.



        * ACORN, SEIU, CBC…

        1. Well played.

        2. Anyone seen Kate Parker lately?

    2. My sentiments exactly. Moreover, may their every future return be scrutinized by both the IRS and the press.

    3. I’d actually be willing to extend these guys some sympathy if the hypocritical fuckers would actually learn the lesson, and use their power and influence to do something about it.

      But who am I kidding? They never do. So, yeah: fuck them, one and all.

  5. “which they inherited last August after their mother died”

    Guess who didn’t have to pay an inheritance tax.

    1. No, no, you got it all wrong. Even though they weren’t legally required to pay the inheritance tax, they were certainly so dedicated to the concept that wealth should not be transferred generationally, in order to give everyone a level playing field, that they donated 50% of the inheritance straight into the US Treasury. I’m sure of it.

      1. Note to you folks out there who may share bank accounts with your high school- and college-aged kids: Even if they’ve earned all the money in the account, and your name is only on it for convenience, if you die suddenly they will be taxed on 50% of the balance at the inheritance rate.

      2. I’m sure the vast majority of our liberal trolls would like to join Mr. Holder in donating freely. Here you go:

        Gifts to the United States
        U.S. Department of the Treasury
        Credit Accounting Branch
        3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
        Hyattsville, MD 20782

  6. Let’s face it, the only thing that will save the feeble-minded clowns that pass for our best-and-brightest from tax day errors is a nice, simple, easy to calculate even if you were and English major, flat tax.

    1. easy to calculate even if you were and English major


  7. I don’t feel bad when the ones responsible for our tax get tripped up by it, I actually enjoy it. The whole hoisted on your own petard thing. However, it does infuriate me when they don’t suffer the same consequences that we, the little people, would have to endure.

  8. Get back to me when Timmay is sharing a cell with Wesley Snipes.

    These fuckers use the tax code as a means to extract tribute from the peasants; fuck them.

  9. Not giving Holder a pass, but fucking hell, he just inherited the building in August. And it’s local property taxes, not Federal income, so it really has little to do with April 15th.

    Now about those taxes that GE is supposed to pay…

    1. Yeah. This is about on par with not paying his recently deceased parent’s last credit card bill.

      A bit lazy and stupid of the guy, but not quite criminal negligence or anything.

      1. He should hire a good lawyer to help him.

        1. Yeah, and that’s the fucked up part to me, and why I’m saying lazy and stupid.

          But this still has nothing to do with the internal revenue code.

    2. Eric and his brother seem like pretty lousy sons, if you ask me. While mom was suffering in the hospital, the least they could have done was help mom stay up on her bills.

      1. Excuse me! Some of us have Important People’s Business to do!

      2. That’s the government’s job. Not family or friends.

  10. When was the last time Eric Holder cut a civilian any slack for “unknowingly” Failing to Obey?

    Die in a fire, Eric.

    1. The New Black Panthers?

    2. Agreed, 150%. Fuck him. He should get exactly the slack he would cut any of us.

  11. and the author had sympathy for them because the tax is too complicated – why might I ask? The serfs better not make a “mistake.”

  12. I just got off the phone with the IRS like 30 minutes or so ago.. I asked the lady I was talking to about this after she explained to me why they were fucking me on my 2008 return. (Some bullshit about the AMT preventing deductions when a taxable fringe benefit was what pushed me into the AMT in the first place. If there’s an accountant out there, can you explain this bit of BS.)

    Anyway, she actually said the DoJ and the Treasury aren’t the same and that he’s subject to the same laws I am. Then I asked her about Timmeh, and she said we need to worry about my taxes and not get into a “political discussion.”

    1. Because “Big Brother” was listening.

    2. Here’s the short-short version (because the AMT is incredibly complex and illogical).

      Every tax return is supposed to be calculated two ways: the regular way that’s done on the 1040, and the AMT way (Form 6251). If your regular tax comes out lower than the AMT calculation, you pay the AMT. That’s why it’s called alternative minimum tax.

      The way the calculations are written, middle income earners who live in states/localities with high income taxes and real estate taxes (or taxpayers with large amounts of other itemized deductions) are at a bigger risk for having to pay the AMT, because part of the AMT calculation is to exclude many of the itemized deductions you’d take on schedule A (state and local taxes paid for example).

      The percent chance of that first level of IRS agent being able to intelligently discuss this issue with you are slightly higher than zero, but not by any material amount. 😉

      1. AMT was created to destroy the creative way the ‘super-wealthy’ under 250k earners tried to emulate the truly super-wealthy in avoiding taxes. It was a not-so-clever way of raising taxes without ‘raising’ taxes. It set a limit, a ceiling, on loopholes essentially for those who are out of the insider loop. The only way out of it for us commoners is to find a charitable contribution that pays us back under the table.

        One idea would be to claim that I gave money to panhandlers waiting at stop signals but this would not be considered charity, it would be considered gifting, and if I gifted the panhandler too much, I would have to pay taxes on it!

        Only if I give through an extremely high overhead charity such as the United Way, or End Hunger Now, would I get the deduction.

        I think I correctly suppose that the nonprofit rent-seeker gravy train has a strong interest in undoing the person-to-person charity exchange.

        Another reason, I despise the tax code. It truly is utter bullshit.

    3. If there’s an accountant out there, can you explain this bit of BS.

      Sure, glad to help.

      The Tax Code does not make sense; it just is.

      And, you don’t have to understand it; you just have to pay.

      Does that make you feel better?

    4. “It’s not, Lady. It’s a “poolitical discussion.'”

    5. Re: Sloopyinca,

      If there’s an accountant out there, can you explain this bit of BS.

      You can’t govern over innocent men, only over criminals; and government makes criminals of us all, whether we like it or not.

      (Something Ayn Rand wrote, somewhere…)

      1. “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws”

  13. Had a regular person made this error, the home would have already been seized and auctioned off.

    1. I doubt it. it takes more than a year of tax arrears for most cities to get around to sizing properties for back taxes.

      No story here.

      Like the Geitner story, this is not so much evidence of wrongdoing (I think it’s a safe bet that they weren’t actually trying to avoid paying the taxes) as incompetence.

      1. Yeah!

        But don’t worry, I’m still qualified to be Secretary of the Treasury. After all, I went to Dartmouth, so I know all the right people.

    2. Had a regular person made this error, the home would have already been seized and auctioned off.

      Actually, no.

  14. Well, this just proves the New York Post is racist.

  15. I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

  16. If there’s an accountant out there, can you explain this bit of BS.

    I’m not an accountant, but I’ll give it a whirl.

    Haha, sucker!

  17. If the pope shits in the woods, does it make a sound?

    1. Yes.

      What is the sound of one hand fapping?

      1. Goodness that is an oddly specific fetish you have got there.

        1. Kersploosh!

  18. As was already noted above in the comments, this has nothing to do with the IRS or income taxes. I’m not going to bother looking up the details of how property taxes are collected in Queens, but, if it’s anything like how they are paid and collected in the parts of the country I am familiar with, it would be quite easy to miss whether they had been paid. Not to mention that his mom died and that probably created a bit of a distraction for Holder and his brother.
    This sort of juvenile sniping just lessens the punch of legitimate criticisms of both Holders’ work as Attorney General and the screwy tax code.

    1. It’s not about that. It’s about the fact that if you, or I, didn’t pay up on time, the government would fuck us. So let’s see the government fuck Holder the same way. Oh wait: it won’t?

      That’s exactly the point. The only point.

      1. Maybe that point is implied, but I wouldn’t state the complexity of the internal revenue code makes it impossible to follow, and then use NYC real estate taxes to make my case.

        1. I find it funny that you’re an accountant.

          I think one can generalize all tax laws as “complex”, so Suder-Man can still make a point.

          Ship: “I saw you at Elzar’s with those two ladies of the evening! Explain that!”

          Bender: “Ok, I like a challenge. Hmm…no…Ah! I got it. I’m going to be completely honest with you, Planet Express Ship. Those women you saw me with…were my accountants.”

      2. According to the NYC Finance site, if you owe them money NYC will sell a lien on your property at their Annual Lien Sale. Property owners had until May 7, 2010 to resolve their debt before the May 10, 2010 sale. I see nothing listed yet for the 2011 sale, so presumably he is paying his bill well ahead of this year’s lien sale. He is paying the delinquent fees and interest on the bill, so he is getting it just as good and hard as you or I would had we paid our property taxes late.…..lien.shtml

      3. At the same time, I’m not sure how the “but he’s in a position to do something about it” really applies to anyone other than Congressmen anyway.

  19. Agree with highnumber. If Peter Suderman can’t figure out that you don’t pay real estate taxes to the IRS, no wonder he finds the tax code confusing.

    And also agree that Holder deserves to be criticized for all those terrible briefs that DOJ has been filing on behalf of Barack “I’ll be the judge, I’ll be the jury, I’ll try you all and condemn you to death” Obama.

    1. Please point out exactly where Suderman said that property taxes are paid to the IRS.

      1. The author might not have expressly stated that people pay their real estate taxes to the IRS, but he opens with “it’s tax day.” Yes, for federal and most state income taxes. But not for NYC real estate taxes.

        The author then writes two paragraphs about the complexity of the internal revenue code, and how this makes it impossible to accurately file federal income taxes.

        Are you arguing that this was a well written post? I certainly agree that I’d like to see politicians pay their taxes , but this article is a mish-mash of unrelated tax issues.

        1. Yeah, its tax day. Which makes it a perfectly good day to bitchslap any of Our Masters who fucked up any of their taxes.

          Its possible to overthink this, you know.

        2. Suderman’s post might have been better had it simply added Holder to the list of Obama officials who seem to have difficulty paying their taxes.

          I see your point, but I didn’t find it hard to follow where Suderman was going with this post.

  20. Last year, the Government Accountability Office reported that the IRS could not explain billions in accounting discrepancies: Essentially, the IRS failed an audit.

    “Who watches the watchers?”
    “The blind, madam. Very conveniently, the blind.”

  21. This sort of juvenile sniping

    Boo hoo.

    The Eric Holders of the world get zero sympathy from me. Are you telling us Holder didn’t know the old lady croaked?

  22. I have sympathy for folks who get caught in the confusion over what constitutes “income” or who get snagged for their accountants’ creative use of deductions.

    However, one would think the U.S. Attorney General would be smart enough to know that property taxes exist in his home state and have to be paid. Not a lot of sympathy here.

    1. In reality, smart is a non-sequitur of knowing-of and that’s sorta the articles point. Valid arguments to the article itself also being a non-sequitur in the sense of conflating a property tax payment (state) to a property tax deduction (not done, but something possible on a tax return), I feel, are overruled by the overarching irony imposed by the article: that the chief prosecutor of the US can make mistakes too and given the capriciousness of penalty, enforcement and redress, shouldn’t Dr. Holder (surely, he’s a Ph.D) be a little bit less harsh on the clearly less educated people that he jacks?

  23. Fuck the politician.

    1. Agreed.

      1. Fucking is too good for them.

        1. Use a giant duck cock.

          1. Thanks, that’s an image equal parts amusing and disturbing.

        2. Send in STEVE SMITH. I look forward to a new version of Mr. SMITH Goes to Washington.

    2. Fist the politician (with a fire glove on, for protection.)

  24. Holder is lowlife scum of the earth, and has been his entire career as a “public servant”.

  25. Ooohhh….One is born. One pay taxes. One dies……

  26. I could not stop laughing that the IRS failed an audit. Maybe everyone is ready for the flat tax?


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