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As NewsBusters reported Monday, American media almost completely ignored a report that Warren "Raise My Taxes" Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway has been fighting with the IRS for almost a decade over taxes it owes.
On Tuesday, the organization digging into Berkshire Hathaway's numbers, Americans for Limited Government, estimated the total could be as much as $1 billion:
Using only publicly-available documents, a certified public accountant (CPA) detailed Berkshire Hathaway’s tax problems to ALG researcher Richard McCarty. Now, the American people have a better idea of how much in back taxes the company could owe Uncle Sam.
According to page 56 of the company report, “At December 31, 2010… net unrecognized tax benefits were $1,005 million”, or about $1 billion. McCarty explained, “Unrecognized tax benefits represent the company’s potential future obligation to the IRS and other taxing authorities. They have to be recorded in the company’s financial statements.”
He added, “The notation means that Berkshire Hathaway’s own auditors have probably said that $1 billion is more likely than not owed to the government.”
Two weeks ago, when billionaire Warren Buffett called for higher taxes on rich people like him, the liberal media predictably gushed and fawned.
Yet when Americans for Limited Government revealed last week that Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway has been in an almost decade-long dispute with the IRS over how much taxes it owes, these same press members couldn't care less:
Americans for Limited Government researcher Richard McCarty, who was alerted to the controversy by a federal government lawyer, said, “The company has been short-changing the tax collection agency for much of the past decade. Mr. Buffett’s company has not fully settled its tax bills from 2002-2009. Yet he says he’d happily pay more. Except the IRS has apparently been asking him to pay more going on nine years.”
Imagine for a moment if nine days after Donald Trump or the Koch Brothers penned an op-ed in the New York Times wherein they pointed fingers at people for not paying their "fair share" of taxes it was revealed that one of their companies had been fighting with the IRS over taxes its owed since 2002. You think the media would have been interested in such a story?
Probably as much as a faux pas by Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann, right?
Yet Google News and LexisNexis searches have identified that since the ALG piece was published last Wednesday, the only major media outlet to reveal Buffett's hypocrisy was the New York Post Monday.
Other than that, not a word about this on television or in print.
It seems blatant hypocrisy from rich Obama supporters isn't newsworthy.
I wonder why.
We file income tax returns in the U.S. federal jurisdiction and in state, local and foreign jurisdictions. We are under examination by the taxing authorities in many of these jurisdictions. With few exceptions, we have settled tax return liabilities with U.S. federal, state, local and foreign tax authorities for years before 2002. We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years at the IRS Appeals Division within the next 12 months. The IRS has completed its examination of our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2005 and 2006 tax years and the proposed adjustments are currently being reviewed by the IRS Appeals Division process. The IRS is currently auditing our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2007 through 2009 tax years. It is reasonably possible that certain of our income tax examinations will be settled within the next twelve months. We currently believe that there are no jurisdictions in which the outcome of unresolved issues or claims is likely to be material to the
Consolidated Financial Statements.