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  Tax - Legal News


Hunter Biden is scheduled to stand trial on federal tax charges in September after a judge on Wednesday granted his request to delay the California trial that had been approaching next month.

U.S. District Judge Mark C. Scarsi agreed during a hearing to push the case to Sept. 5 after defense lawyers said they need more time to prepare with Hunter Biden, who is also facing a separate trial on federal gun charges beginning June 3 in Delaware.

The president’s son has pleaded not guilty to both indictments, which his lawyers have claimed are politically motivated. Both cases are being overseen by judges nominated by then-President Donald Trump, a Republican who is running to unseat the Democratic president in November.

The trials will add to an already acrimonious presidential election as Trump’s allies again seize on embarrassing details from the younger Biden’s troubled life to attack his father, even as Trump faces his own legal problems. Trump is charged in four criminal cases, including a hush money trial underway in New York.

Hunter Biden’s lawyers, who have pushed for dismissals and delays in both cases, say they have been struggling to line up expert witnesses to testify in the high-profile trial in Los Angeles.

Prosecutors on Wednesday pushed back on the delay request, describing it as a straightforward tax case. Prosecutor Leo Wise told the judge: “The time to try this case is now.”

“He is not above the rule of law and should be treated like any other defendant,” Justice Department special counsel David Weiss’ team wrote in a recent court filing.

Hunter Biden was not required to attend the hearing in Los Angeles federal court and did not do so. The judge cautioned his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, that this would be the only delay in the case, barring an order from a higher court.

Prosecutors say they have lined up roughly 30 witnesses to testify in the case alleging he failed to pay at least $1.4 million in taxes over four years while living an “extravagant lifestyle” during a period in which he has acknowledged struggling with addiction. The back taxes have since been paid.

In the gun case, prosecutors allege that Biden lied about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a firearm that he kept for about 11 days in Delaware. He has acknowledged an addiction to crack cocaine during that period, but his lawyers have said he didn’t break the law.


Lawyers for reality TV stars Todd and Julie Chrisley, who are in prison after being convicted on federal charges of bank fraud and tax evasion, on Friday challenged aspects of their convictions and sentences in a federal appeals court.

The Chrisleys rose to fame with their show “Chrisley Knows Best,” which chronicled the exploits of their tight-knit family. But prosecutors said they engaged in an extensive bank fraud scheme and hid their earnings from tax authorities while showcasing their extravagant lifestyle.

Peter Tarantino, an accountant they hired, also is serving time in prison. He wants his conviction thrown out and to be granted a new trial.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Friday heard arguments from lawyers for the three.

Two of the Chrisleys’ children, Savannah and Chase, were joined by more than a dozen supporters in the gallery of the courtroom. Savannah Chrisley spoke to reporters after the hearing, saying she talked to her parents Thursday night and that they are “doing as best as they can” and hope that Friday’s hearing is a step toward getting them home.

The Chrisleys initially were charged in August 2019. In June 2022, a jury found them guilty of conspiring to defraud community banks out of more than $30 million in fraudulent loans. They also were found guilty of tax evasion and conspiring to defraud the IRS, and Julie Chrisley was convicted of wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors have said the Chrisleys walked away from their responsibility to repay loans when Todd Chrisley declared bankruptcy. While in bankruptcy, they started their reality show and “flaunted their wealth and lifestyle to the American public,” and then hid the millions they made from the show from the IRS, prosecutors have said.

Alex Little, a lawyer for the Chrisleys, argued that an IRS officer lied on the stand about the couple still owing taxes at the time of trial when she knew no taxes were due and that prosecutors knowingly presented and failed to correct that false testimony.

Todd Chrisley, 56, is at a minimum security federal prison camp in Pensacola, Florida, with a release date in October 2032, while Julie Chrisley, 51, is at a facility in Lexington, Kentucky, and is due for release in July 2028, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

Tarantino, 61, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and willfully filing false tax returns. He is being held in a minimum security federal prison camp in Montgomery, Alabama, with a release date in September of next year.


President Joe Biden’s son pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal tax charges filed after the collapse of a plea deal that could have spared him the spectacle of a criminal trial during the 2024 campaign.

Hunter Biden has been accused of nine felony and misdemeanor tax offenses. The charges stem from what federal prosecutors say was a four-year scheme to skip out on paying the $1.4 million he owed to the IRS and instead use the money to fund an extravagant lifestyle that by his own admission included drugs and alcohol.

“We’re here today because you’ve been accused by the United States of a criminal offense,” Judge Mark Scarsi said to Biden, who entered the not guilty plea himself.

The judge set a tentative trial date of June 20 during the half-hour-long hearing.

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden has also been charged in Delaware with lying in October 2018 on a federal form for gun purchasers when he swore he wasn’t using or addicted to illegal drugs. He was addicted to crack cocaine at the time. He’s also accused of possessing the gun illegally and has pleaded not guilty in that case.

The accusations all come from a yearslong federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax and business dealings that had been expected to wind down over the summer with a plea deal in which he would have gotten two years’ probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor tax charges. He also would have avoided prosecution on the gun charge if he stayed out of trouble.

The deal unraveled when a federal judge who had been expected to approve the deal instead began to question it. Now, the tax and gun cases are moving ahead as part of an unprecedented confluence of political and legal drama: As the 2024 election draws closer, the Justice Department is actively prosecuting both the president’s son and Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner.


Hunter Biden was indicted on nine tax charges in California as a special counsel investigation into the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son intensifies against the backdrop of the 2024 election.

The new charges filed Thursday — three felonies and six misdemeanors — are in addition to federal firearms charges in Delaware alleging Hunter Biden broke laws against drug users having guns in 2018. They come after the implosion of a plea deal over the summer that would have spared him jail time, putting the case on track to a possible trial as his father campaigns for reelection.

Hunter Biden “spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills,” special counsel David Weiss said in a statement. The charges are centered on at least $1.4 million in taxes Hunter Biden owed during between 2016 and 2019, a period where he has acknowledged struggling with addiction. The back taxes have since been paid.

If convicted, Hunter Biden, 53, could a maximum of 17 years in prison. The special counsel probe remains open, Weiss said.

In a fiery response, defense attorney Abbe Lowell accused Weiss of “bowing to Republican pressure” in the case.

“Based on the facts and the law, if Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought,” Lowell said in a statement.

The White House declined to comment on Thursday’s indictment, referring questions to the Justice Department or Hunter Biden’s personal representatives.

The charging documents filed in California, where he lives, detail spending on drugs, strippers, luxury hotels and exotic cars, “in short, everything but his taxes,” prosecutor Leo Wise wrote.

The indictment comes as congressional Republicans pursue an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, claiming he was engaged in an influence-peddling scheme with his son. The House is expected to vote next week on formally authorizing the inquiry.

No evidence has emerged so far to prove that Joe Biden, in his current or previous office, abused his role or accepted bribes, though questions have arisen about the ethics surrounding the Biden family’s international business.

The separate, long-running criminal investigation into Hunter Biden had been expected to wind down with a plea deal where he would have gotten two years’ probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor tax charges and avoided prosecution on the gun charge if he stayed out of trouble.

The agreement was pilloried as a “sweetheart deal” by Republicans, including former President Donald Trump. Trump is facing his own criminal cases, including charges that he plotted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to Biden, a Democrat.

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, gave credit for the new charges Thursday to two IRS investigators who testified before Congress that the Justice Department had mishandled and “slow walked” the investigation into the president’s son. Justice officials have denied those allegations.

The two IRS employees, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, said the indictment was “a complete vindication of our thorough investigation.”

The new charges against Hunter Biden include filing a false return and tax evasion felonies, as well as misdemeanor failure to file and failure to pay.

The defense signaled that it plans to fight the new charges, likely at least in part relying on immunity provisions from the original plea deal. Defense attorneys have argued those remain in force since that part of the agreement was signed by a prosecutor before the deal was scrapped.


Charles and Kathleen Moore are about to have their day in the Supreme Court over a $15,000 tax bill they contend is unconstitutional.

The couple from Redmond, Washington, claim they had to pay the money because of their investment in an Indian company from which, as Charles Moore, 62, said in a sworn statement, they “have never received a distribution, dividend, or other payment.”

But significant parts of the story they have told to reach this point seem at odds with public records. The Moores are the public face of a high court case backed by business and conservative political interests that could call into question other parts of the U.S. tax code and rule out a much-discussed but never-enacted tax on wealth. The case is set for arguments on Dec. 5.

The Moores are the latest example of plaintiffs whose lawsuits seem to simply be exercising their legal rights, but whose cases are backed by others with enormous amounts of money or a consequential social issue at stake. The Moores sought help from the anti-regulatory Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Underscoring the case’s importance at a recent Heritage Foundation event, lawyer Paul Clement said, “The constitutionality of a wealth tax may well be decided in the context of this case.”

Details of the Moores’ involvement with the company, initially called KisanKraft Machine Tools Private Limited, were first reported by Tax Notes, which caters to tax professionals. The public documents are filings with the Indian government.


Starting next year, people who want to buy a new or used electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle will be able to get U.S. government income tax credits at the time of purchase.

Eligible buyers, including those that bought an EV or hybrid this year, have had to wait until they filed their federal income tax returns to actually get the benefits.

The Treasury Department says the near-instant credits of $7,500 for an eligible new vehicle and $4,000 for a qualifying used vehicle should lower purchasing costs for consumers and help car dealers by boosting EV sales.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act, which included the credits, buyers can transfer the credits to dealers, which can apply them at the point of sale starting Jan. 1.

Plus, the government says people can get the full credits from dealers regardless of how much they owe in federal taxes.

The vehicles have to qualify under guidelines spelled out in the law, and buyers’ incomes have to fall below limits.

Dealers have to hold state or local licenses in order to offer the credits, and they must register on an Internal Revenue Service website. After dealers turn in the sales paperwork, dealers can expect to get payments from the government within about 72 hours, officials said.

To be eligible, electric vehicles or plug-ins have to be manufactured in North America. SUVs, vans and trucks can’t have a sticker price greater than $80,000, while cars can’t sticker for more than $55,000.

Used electric vehicles can’t have a sale price of more than $25,000.

There also are income limits for buyers set up to stop wealthier people from getting the credits. Buyers cannot have an adjusted gross annual income above $150,000 if single, $300,000 if filing jointly and $225,000 if head of a household.

To qualify, buyers have to be below the income limits either in the year of purchase or the prior year. If their income exceeds the limits both years and they took the credits, they’ll have to repay them when they file their income tax returns, the government said.

There also are requirements for battery and component manufacturing that could disqualify some vehicles or make them eligible for only part of the tax credits.

Treasury Department guidelines still have to wind their way through the government regulatory process, including a public comment period.

Sales of new electric vehicles for the first nine months of the year rose 50.9% from the same period a year ago, pushing the EV market share up slightly to 7.5%. U.S. consumers bought 875,798 EVs from January through September.


Hunter Biden sued the Internal Revenue Service on Monday, claiming that two agents publicly alleging tax-probe interference wrongly shared his personal information, a case that comes amid escalating legal and political struggles as the 2024 election looms.

The agents “targeted and sought to embarrass Mr. Biden” with the sharing of confidential tax information in press interviews and testimony before Congress, the suit said. His lawyers argue that whistleblower protections don’t apply, but a lawyer for one agent said any confidential information released came under whistleblower authorization and called the suit a “frivolous smear.”

The lawsuit marks the latest legal pushback from Biden as a long-running federal investigation into him unfolds against a sharply political backdrop. That includes an impeachment inquiry aimed at his father, President Joe Biden, seeking to tie him to his son’s business dealings.

“Mr. Biden is the son of the President of the United States. He has all the same responsibilities as any other American citizen, and the IRS can and should make certain that he abides by those responsibilities,” the suit states. “Similarly, Mr. Biden has no fewer or lesser rights than any other American citizen, and no government agency or government agent” has free rein to violate his rights simply because of who he is.

The suit says the IRS hasn’t done enough to halt the airing of his personal information. It seeks to “force compliance with federal tax and privacy laws” and damages of $1,000 for every unauthorized disclosure.

IRS supervisory special agent Greg Shapley, and a second agent, Joe Ziegler, have claimed there was a pattern of “slow-walking investigative steps” into Hunter Biden in testimony before Congress. They alleged that the prosecutor overseeing the investigation, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, didn’t have full authority to bring charges in other jurisdictions. Weiss and the Justice Department have denied that.

Shapley’s lawyer called the lawsuit a “frivolous smear” that sought to “intimidate any current and future whistleblowers.” He didn’t release confidential tax information except through legal whistleblower disclosures, his attorney said. “Once Congress released that testimony, like every American citizen, he has a right to discuss that public information.”

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