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Rangel To Pay Back Taxes Owed

by Leroy Baker, Tax-News.com, New York

15 September 2008


Amid growing allegations of unethical conduct, US Representative Charles Rangel has said that he intends to pay any taxes he owes on foreign investment income, although he is refusing to relinquish his chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax legislation.

In a news conference to explain his position, the flamboyant New York Democrat insisted that he had "done nothing morally wrong," and that any irregularities in his financial affairs were errors of omission rather than deliberate deception. He announced that his tax attorney is looking at his filings going back some twenty years, and that he fully intends to pay back any federal, state or local taxes that he owes, which have been estimated at USD10,000.

"I do hope that my explanation will be sufficient to say that we do make errors, even though we consider ourselves experts in terms of tax policy for the nation," he said by way of an explanation.

However, Rangel is continuing to stand firm in the face of Republican attempts to unseat him as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and he insists that this is something for a special House ethics panel set up to investigate the affair to decide.

"I really don't believe that making mistakes means that you have to give up your career," he argued.

House Republican leaders recently wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), urging her to remove Rangel from the post, at least until the ethical issues are resolved, arguing that his alleged conduct makes his position as chairman untenable.

Rangel is accused of failing to declare at least USD75,000 in income from a luxury vacation property located in the Dominican Republic, which he bought in 1988.

The ethics panel is also examining how Rangel came to occupy four rent-controlled apartments in New York City, one of which he has used as a campaign office.


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