In addition to Capps’ failure to report the income she received from Tittle to the proper congressional authorities for five years, she didn’t report the income to the IRS until this year. For six years, Capps had to file amended tax returns with the IRS to report that income she made off her staffer, and she didn’t do it until 2012.
“Capps’ accountant filed all her amended returns from 1998-2011 this year, and she has paid them,” Millman wrote in an email to TheDC.
“As soon as we became aware of this, Lois immediately filed an amended return and cleared it up right away,” Millman added. “The amended returns are on her website and everybody can look at it.”
But in those IRS tax returns posted on Capps’ campaign website, the dates when the amended returns from 2001 through 2005 — which include the income she from made from Tittle — were filed are not included on the documents. This could make it appear to average reader that the issue was resolved with the IRS in 2006, instead of more than 10 years after the first payments began. In reality, and by the Capps’ campaign’s own admission, this wasn’t resolved until 2012.
Capps’ decision to amend her tax returns and file them with the IRS just this year is politically convenient for her: She’s in the middle of a bitter re-election fight against former California Lieutenant Gov. Abel Maldonado and recent internal polling Maldonado’s campaign released puts him well within striking distance to take the seat in November. According to the internal poll, Maldonado is getting 46 percent of support and Capps gets 48 percent, with a 4.9 percent margin of error.
Capps has made the tax returns issue a major one in this campaign — and she has continually demanded that Maldonado release his tax returns. Maldonado has had some issues with the IRS as of late, and according to the Los Angeles Times, he and his family businesses owe “more than $4 million in taxes.”
Capps has used the tax returns issue as a way to attack Maldonado, though it’s now clear she didn’t even resolve her failure to report income with the IRS until this year. Maldonado campaign spokesman Kurt Bardella told TheDC that these new revelations, including the timing in which Capps handled this issue, are revealing about Capps’ motives with her attacks.
“At first, it appeared as if Congresswoman Capps was pointing fingers at Abel Maldonado in an attempt to avoid talking about issues like jobs and the economy,” Bardella wrote in an email. “Now it’s clear that Congresswoman Capps, who at this very moment is running a campaign commercial called ‘Trust’, was really playing a game of misdirection, hoping that her financial arrangement with a member of her own staff would not come to light.”
“The fact of the matter is that Congresswoman Capps failed to report income she was receiving from a member of her own staff, who was being paid both by her campaign and her congressional office, was renting a room in her own house,” Bardella added. ”How does ten years go by before you get around to disclosing that to the IRS? Why were forms posted on her website that made it look like the issue was addressed in 2006? There are a lot of questions that Congresswoman Capps has to answer about this financial arrangement.”