Senator John Kerry’s press secretary, Whitney Smith, responded to my blog post titled IRS Files $800K Lien Against John Kerry for President Campaign in an email today.
Here is Ms. Smith’s email in its entirety:
Hi, Peter – saw your posting on the senator and wanted to clarify a few points. The IRS is missing W2 forms from the 2004 campaign, not payroll taxes.
They have a gap in their electronic data, and when they contacted us about it back in January of 2008, we had our former payroll company resubmit the forms – end of story.
Your posting was based on the Washington Times article that has several errors. The AP has it right.
We also never ignored the IRS.
We’ve been in touch with them at least once a month since we were first contacted to find out when this issue will be resolved.
Senator, John Kerry
We will keep tabs on this issue.
I still have some concerns.
For instance, if it were just a W-2 problem as Ms. Smith suggests, its hard for me to see how that alone would warrant an assessment of upwards of $800,000 and a subsequent tax lien.
Likewise, it is difficult for me to understand how, if the problem were merely a glitch in the IRS electronic filing system rather than a failure on the part of the Kerry campaign to comply with the payroll tax laws, the lien was not avoided.
Again, the IRS refrains from filing federal tax liens pending resolution of legitimate disputes.
For now, I think its only fair to take the Kerry campaign at its word and wait until its dispute with the IRS is resolved.
The truth will eventually out.
And if it turns out that Ms. Smith and the Kerry campaign are correct, it wouldn’t be the first time the IRS screwed up.