WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday claimed allegations that President Biden owes as much as $500,000 in unpaid Medicare taxes have been “debunked” — despite experts saying otherwise.
The issue re-emerged last month when Republicans accused Biden of hypocritically pushing for other wealthy people to pay their “fair share” to fund new social spending.
Psaki grew visibly annoyed when asked about the issue by The Post at her daily press briefing and cut off the line of questioning after an expert was cited, who affirmed Biden might indeed owe taxes.
“This is a very long question. I think I know what you’re getting at. This has been debunked, as you probably know. Also he’s released many, many years of his tax returns so people can check them out,” Psaki said.
She made the declaration despite being presented with a quote from tax law expert Bob Willens, an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s business school, who recently said that “in my view, the case can easily be made” that Biden owes back taxes.
When The Post pointed out that “it hasn’t been debunked though, I just cited an expert,” Psaki cut off the inquiry and asked another reporter to ask a question.
“Go ahead, George… I think we are going to move on to some more topics,” she said.
Experts say that the notion that Biden owes taxes is not debunked.
Willens, whose opinion was cited to Psaki, said that although he believes there’s a case to be made against Biden, “Whether the IRS would be willing to make that case, however, is questionable given the identity of the shareholder.”
Biden and first lady Jill Biden routed more than $13 million through “S corporations” and counted less than $800,000 of it as salary eligible for the Medicare tax — exempting the rest from what would have been a 3.8 percent rate.
He should have paid the tax on the share of this income that was earned as a result of his own labor, experts say.
The question of whether Biden improperly avoided paying taxes resurfaced when Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) requested a report from the Congressional Research Service on S corporation tax obligations. Banks’ office provided a copy of the report to The Post, arguing that it shows Biden owes the IRS back taxes.
“Joe Biden wants to raise taxes by $2.1 trillion while claiming the rich need to pay their ‘fair share.’ But in 2017, multi-millionaire Joe Biden skirted his payroll taxes — the very taxes that fund Medicare and Obamacare,” Banks said.
“According to the criteria CRS provided to my office, he owes the IRS and the American people hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes.”
Biden, a longtime senator who branded himself “Middle Class Joe,” frequently calls on upper-income people to pay their “fair share,” saying that aside from tax hikes, the rich often avoid paying existing taxes that they owe.
Tax experts told The Post that Biden’s tax-avoidance strategy is so common that the IRS doesn’t have the resources to haul into court every S corporation owner who dubiously underestimates their “salary” to avoid the Medicare tax.
John Bogdanski, a former member of the IRS Commissioner’s Advisory Group and a professor at Lewis & Clark law school, said, “There are millions — literally millions — of S corporations. So there might be a half a million S corporations that are playing this game. And the IRS doesn’t have anywhere near enough of a budget to bring a half a million cases every year.”