Hunter Biden is suing the IRS for what he claims is an “assault” on his rights as a taxpayer following public exposure from the testimony of agency whistleblowers. But wait; there’s more.
He also claims that he overpaid the IRS and is due a refund.
Hunter’s lawsuit states that the IRS failed to adequately protect Hunter Biden’s confidential tax records. He’s now seeking access to all documents related to the unauthorized disclosure of his tax information, as well as requesting $1,000 for each instance of improper disclosure, along with reimbursement for legal fees and other related expenses.
This lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Washington, DC. While it doesn’t directly name the two IRS whistleblowers as defendants, it primarily focuses on the information shared by Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, as well as any statements made by their legal representatives during their testimonies to Congress or given in public interviews.
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Shapely and Zieglar have appeared before Congress and participated in numerous media interviews claiming that the Justice Department deliberately delayed investigations into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax evasion. The suit alleges that the whistleblowers shared Biden’s private tax information in over 20 nationally televised interviews and multiple public statements that were not authorized by Congress. In the process, they disclosed information related to Biden’s tax matters, which is protected by privacy laws. The lawsuit contends that this information could have only been obtained by investigating his physical tax returns.
The suit emphasizes that while Hunter Biden bears the same responsibilities as any other American citizen, he also has the same rights to privacy as any other individual in the United States.
At the heart of the lawsuit is IRS Code 6103, which specifies that all tax return information is required to be kept confidential with limited exceptions. Per the code, no federal or state employees, or law enforcement agencies are allowed to reveal or disclose any tax return or tax-related information they have obtained, whether during their service or afterward, unless specifically permitted by the tax code. This restriction also applies to former officers or employees. Code 6103 enforces the strict confidentiality of tax-related data and prohibits unauthorized disclosure.
Notable exceptions include releasing tax returns to authorized IRS personnel and certain government officials such as congressional committee members. A taxpayer’s information can be released to ensure compliance and in response to court orders and subpoenas.
Per Hunter’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, Shapley and Ziegler deliberated provided “unsubstantiated and selectively chosen” allegations regarding Hunter to “embarrass and inflict harm” on him. During what Lowell characterized as a “media spectacle,” Shapley and Ziegler revealed far more information than permissible under the protective scope afforded to whistleblowers.
In June, Congressional Republicans decided to disclose the transcripts of their interviews with these two whistleblowers. However, Lowell pointed out that in subsequent appearances on television and podcasts, the whistleblowers went beyond the information shared in their official testimony, even though they were explicitly advised by the committee not to divulge interview details to unauthorized individuals.
Lowell also slammed the disclosures due to “inaccuracies.” Lowell contended that one of the disclosures regarding his client’s taxes in 2018 failed to consider what Biden paid later.
According to Lowell, Biden had previously paid over $900,000 to the IRS while attempting to resolve the investigation.
During the courtroom proceedings, Hunter Biden openly acknowledged neglecting to fulfill significant income tax responsibilities, despite having the financial means to do so. His income for 2017 and 2018 amounted to $4.4 million, with an outstanding tax debt estimated between $1.2 million and $1.6 million.
The exact tax amount remains uncertain due to an ongoing IRS review of disputed business deductions that were revealed to be personal and non-business related.
An undisclosed “third party” made a payment of $2.6 million in October 2021 to settle Biden’s tax debts, covering penalties and interest for the years 2016 to 2019. Biden stated the money was a loan, but he is presently not making payments towards it.
Biden’s legal and financial advisors now claim that he had “overstated certain elements of taxable income” for 2018, and as a result, he is eligible for a tax refund. Lowell stated that Mr. Biden is committed to taking all necessary actions to ensure the reimbursement of all overpaid taxes.
No matter how much personal disdain Americans have for Hunter Biden, the United States is still run under the “rule of law.” It appears that, according to IRS Code 6103, Biden’s taxpayer rights were, in fact, violated. It’s up for a court to decide, but this pending case will set a future precedent for Democrats seeking to weaponize the IRS against conservatives.