20 Stories

Buffett Issues Challenge to Trump

'Have you no decency, sir?'

(Newser) - Warren Buffett has challenged Donald Trump over the candidate's refusal to release his tax returns , saying he will meet him "anytime, anyplace" and bring his own income tax return along. The Berkshire Hathaway CEO—whose fortune dwarfs that of Trump—told a Hillary Clinton rally in Omaha, Neb.... More »

Trump Camp: He's Not Releasing His Taxes

Spokesman again cites audit as Trump himself denies ties to Russia

(Newser) - Rumors swirling that Donald Trump may have teamed up with Vladimir Putin to take down Hillary Clinton are just that—rumors, says the Republican nominee. "I don't know anything about it … It's ridiculous," Trump tells CBS News . "I mean I have nothing to do... More »

Pentagon Spouses May Want to Check Work Credit Cards

Audit turns up $1M in charges to casinos, escorts

(Newser) - An audit of government credit cards issued to Pentagon employees turned up a strange thing: lots of charges for gambling, prostitutes, and strip clubs, reports Politico . Specifically, the audit found more than $1 million in such charges from July 2013 to July 2014, with the bulk of that total, $952,... More »

NJ Sent $24M in Benefits— to Prisoners

Agencies didn't check databases to see if recipients were in prison

(Newser) - New Jersey sent nearly $24 million in taxpayer money to prisoners in the form of unemployment, welfare, pension, and other benefits, reports the New York Times . An audit released yesterday uncovered 20,000 prisoners who received benefit money between July 2009 and April 2011, including tales such as one man... More »

Kabul Bank Was a Massive Ponzi Scheme: Audit

Its purpose: to benefit Karzai insiders

(Newser) - Fraud was rampant at Kabul Bank—and a new report shows how deeply the corruption went. Indeed, "from its very beginning, the bank was a well-concealed Ponzi scheme," says an audit obtained by the New York Times . The bank's primary purpose, the audit suggests, was financial gain... More »

Tax Cheating, Easy? Experts Tell You How

Accountants and tax lawyers share tips for beating Uncle Sam

(Newser) - So the New York Times is offering tips for tax cheaters. Guess we know which newspaper will be audited next—but for now, let's take advantage of the paper's survey of 20 tax lawyers, accountants, and policy wonks:
  • The easiest way to cheat is ... running your own company—
... More »

SF Audit Finds Massive Flaws in Foreclosures

SF study of 400 foreclosures could point to huge violations nationwide

(Newser) - Pervasive problems have been uncovered in home foreclosures in a detailed audit in San Francisco that could indicate similar wide-scale national issues. Almost every one of the recent 400 foreclosures studied involved either violations or suspicious documentation, according to officials. Some 84% of the foreclosures involved what appeared to be... More »

In 2011, IRS Audited 12% of Millionaires

Also of note: Tax day has changed

(Newser) - Cheer up 99%; at least you're not getting audited. The IRS turned up the heat on the wealthy in 2011, auditing 12% of people earning a million dollars or more, according to figures released yesterday. That's up from 8% of millionaires in 2010 and 6% in 2009. By... More »

Occupy Richmond Defends Tea Party in Tax Row

They suspect the move was 'retaliation' for criticism of mayor

(Newser) - Who says Tea Partiers and Occupiers can’t get along? Occupy Richmond has issued a statement defending the Richmond Tea Party, which the city recently said was behind on its taxes. “Given the duplicitous and violent manner in which the city government chose to raid our peaceful occupation, it... More »

GOP Bill Gives IRS New Job: Policing Abortion Payments

Victims of rape or incest would need documentation proving it

(Newser) - If the GOP’s "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" becomes law, it could force the IRS to ask prying questions about abortion in any tax audit it conducts, an executive from the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee told Congress this week. Under the bill, women who received any kind... More »

EU Should Go After Goldman, Since US Won't

Firm helped Greece hide staggering debt, leading to near collapse

(Newser) - With the revelation that Goldman Sachs was peddling exotic instruments to help Greece hide its runaway debts as recently as November, something must be done, Simon Johnson writes. US authorities clearly aren't going to raise a finger—a few phone calls around Washington will ensure that the Fed looks the... More »

Ron Paul Poised to Finally Pass Fed Audits

For first time in nine tries, amendment goes to House floor

(Newser) - For Ron Paul, it's got to be sweet. The financial regulatory reform bill that opened for debate in the House today contains Paul's amendment to subject the Fed to congressional audit—his ninth try in 11 years in office to get a Fed-curbing proposal into play. Until now, none of... More »

France Bloomin' Mad Over Brukozy's Daily $1K Fleur Tab

(Newser) - French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy just loves her fleurs and she's often photographed arranging blooms in the Elysée Palace. Problem is, the flowers are costing French taxpayers $1,100 a day, and they want the spending nipped in the bud. The blooming bills were revealed in the first state... More »

Blackwater Bilked US Out of $55M for Iraq Security: Audit

Company didn't provide enough workers

(Newser) - The US overpaid Blackwater by $55 million for its security work in Iraq, a government audit has found. The company, since renamed Xe, didn't employ enough guards, medics, and other personnel to protect high-level officials but still collected full payment from the State Department, the Wall Street Journal reports. "... More »

What If I Don't Feel Like Filing?

Christopher Beam explores the potential evader's options

(Newser) - With millions of Americans enduring long lines at the post office today to file their tax returns, Christopher Beam of Slate can’t help wonder: What would happen if you simply didn’t file? The answer is probably not much—7 million Americans declined to file last year, and only... More »

Too-Speedy Bailout Spending May Squander Billions

Auditors understaffed for behemoth task, leaving field open to shifty contractors

(Newser) - If new federal bailout funds are spent too quickly, billions could be wasted because the government administrative staff may be too overburdened to provide adequate oversight, warn budget experts. Billions of dollars in government money were squandered by private contractors who overcharged the Bush administration, according to a government report.... More »

Obama's Haul Spurs Concern About Faceless Donors

But it paves way for new standard in political fundraising system

(Newser) - The huge success of Barack Obama’s Internet fundraising campaign has sparked concerns about the regulation of campaign finance. Some worry that the faceless system allows for easy abuse, particularly in light of donations from anonymous or clearly fake names such as "Osama bin Laden," the Washington Post... More »

Audit Shows Billions Unaccounted for in Iraq

Almost $8.2B in Iraq War funding evaded federal rules, reports the Pentagon

(Newser) - A Pentagon audit of $8.2 billion in taxpayer money spent in Iraq found that nearly all of the handouts skirted federal rules, and millions of dollars in contracts were awarded with little or no record of what they were for, reports the New York Times. Take the $320.8... More »

IRS Employees Charged With Sneaking Into Records

Internal audit nabs five in Calif. office; ties to snooped-on taxpayers uncertain

(Newser) - Five employees at a California branch of the Internal Revenue Service have been charged with illegally inspecting citizens’ tax information, ComputerWorld reports. Exactly whom the workers were snooping on was not disclosed, but there were up to 13 victims, all in 2006. Court dates on misdemeanor charges are pending for... More »

Audits Rip Fed Oversight of Security Firms, Costs

Lax controls, slopping accounting

(Newser) - A State Department internal review of its own security practices in Iraq is sharply critical of the lack of oversight of private contractors Blackwater, DynCorp International and Triple Canopy. A second report due today says officials can't say what the government got for $1.2B paid to DynCorp since 2004,... More »

20 Stories