Congressman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, never reported rental income from a vacation property he has owned in the Dominican Republic since 1988.
Rangel earned more than $75,000 in rental income from a beachfront villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club, according to The New York Times. Rangel did not declare the income on his federal and state tax returns, nor on his congressional disclosure forms. Rangel did not receive the money directly, however. It was used to defray the mortgage and extra construction costs. Rangel's wife handled family finances in conjunction with his accountant, and the resort sent only intermittent financial statements.
"I have asked my accountant to review all the data recently made available to me by the Punta Cana Hotel in the Dominican Republic concerning my investment 20 or so years ago in purchasing a unit in that hotel for occasional use over the years," said Rangel in a statement. "Once my accountant obtains and verifies the facts, I will follow his recommendations."
Rangel's accountant, according to one of his attorneys, does not believe the congressman owes federal taxes on the property because it was primarily owned as an investment and he would be able to deduct depreciation expenses on it. However, Rangel may still owe state and city taxes on the property. The congressman will probably file amended returns.
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