*The next chapter in Fox News’ seemingly hate-hate with the Rev. Al Sharpton has been written. And it involves a reported case of alleged tax cheating.
According to a transcript of Monday’s “On the Record,” host Greta Van Susteren chats with Jillian Melchior, a writer for The National Review, about a story she wrote that highlights businesses Sharpton started that eventually closed down in light of him failing to pay taxes for every one of them.
The new report, Van Sustern noted, comes just months after the Times made it known about Sharpton owing millions in personal taxes.
“Al Sharpton has a bunch of for profit entities that have opened up one after the other. All of them shut down for failure to pay taxes, failure to file tax paperwork, some combination of tax problems,” Melchior told Van Susteren via the transcript. “Just one right after another and then they will open back up, sometimes in the same location. I just really see a pattern here.”
Van Susteren pointed out that from the looks of it, no efforts have been made for the IRS and Sharpton to work together in coming up with a way for both parties to resolve the issue at hand. Melchior then stated that although a tax settlement was actually reached for Sharpton’s profit and non profit company, the problem is that details of the of the resolution weren’t made available to taxpayers. She adds that in light of Sharpton being a “private taxpayer,” the IRS wouldn’t be able to reveal anything.
“We don’t know whether he is compliant with paying for them,” said Melchior. “The IRS won’t tell you. They say this is a private taxpayer and need to respect the privacy, but for me, as a taxpayer, and I think for a lot of other taxpayers, that’s frustrating because here you have got the New York Times saying cumulatively $4.5 million in tax debt. I’m looking at active tax warrants, tax liens well over a million dollars. You know, I wonder what’s going on.”
When asked if she reached out to Sharpton or any of his organizations to get an explanation regarding the situation, Melchior admitted that she did interview the MSNBC host, who told her “he has worked out a payment plan.”
Despite this, Melchior added that Sharpton wouldn’t reveal information about the plan nor its current status of the plan and estimates about his tax debt.
“So I think there is no transparency. And that’s specially concerning given his nonprofit,” she said.
“Well, as far as can I tell and it’s kind of tricky to tell just depending which state has what transparency about corporate records, but the nonprofit, when you look at tax records, more than a million dollars in the red,” Melchior continued regarding what nonprofit and profit corporations or organizations Sharpton is responsible for. “If I am remembering right, I think $800,000 in tax debt and has worked out a settlement for his for profit entities, several of them still owe taxes, have active tax warrants. Then he has one company that was actually shuttered in Delaware for failure to file taxes was supposed to shut down in New York, never shut down.
The transcript concludes with Van Susteren citing the New York Times story as the source of her discussion, which was brought to this point by Melchior’s article. Van Sustern goes on to allude that Sharpton may be receiving special treatment in his situation, in light of his dealings with the White House and President Barack Obama (“He was in and out of the White House 80 times according to our latest number”). As a result, she’s left wondering if how concerned the IRS is in collecting their money from activist.
“You know, it’s really hard to tell,” Melchior responded. “I mean, he is a politically connected guy. For me, the question is what’s going on here? This is a public figure, he is a respected guy. Yet, when I look at his finances I know they are a mess. I don’t know whether it’s incompetence. I can’t tell from the records whether its sloppiness or maybe it’s something criminal. You just don’t know.”
To see Melchior’s “On the Record” interview, check out the video below: