Hunter Biden Did Not Get Overdue Tax Returns Prepared For Months After Getting Sober, Docs Show

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James Lynch Contributor
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Hunter Biden recovered from his drug addiction months before he took any action on getting his overdue tax returns prepared, documents show.

In May 2019, Hunter Biden became sober and moved out to California with his new wife Melissa Cohen, where he worked on his art and memoir for months before he hired an accountant to prepare his overdue personal and corporate tax returns, according to an interview memo by IRS investigators and legal documents produced by federal prosecutors. (RELATED: Hunter Biden’s Drug Addiction Defense Shattered By New California Indictment)

Troy Schmidt, an accountant for Hunter Biden, told IRS, FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) Tax Division officials in November 2021 his first communication with Hunter Biden took place in November 2019 before their first meeting, according to an IRS memo signed by two investigative agents. (RELATED: Joe Biden’s Daughter Reportedly Owes Thousands In Unpaid Income Taxes)

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, walks through the cemetery at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church on the day of the death of the President’s first wife and daughter who died in a car accident in 1972, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., December 18, 2023. REUTERS/Nathan Howard

“Schmidt stated that his first communication with RHB was around their first meeting on November 11, 2019. Schmidt stated that they were provided with RHB’s draft tax returns out of that meeting and that they started their review of RHB’s tax returns,” the document reads.

The memo was crafted based on the memory and notes taken by two IRS agents, one of whom was IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler, who turned over the document to the House Ways and Means Committee. Ziegler began working on the Hunter Biden case in November 2018 and continues to receive high marks for his performance, performance reviews from fiscal years 2022 and 2023 show. (RELATED: IRS Whistleblowers Unable To ‘Verify’ Loans White House Claims Joe Biden Sent To Family Members, Testimony Shows)

The Ways and Means Committee released the performance reviews and the Schmidt memo Dec. 5 after Ziegler and IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley testified about new information related to the ongoing DOJ criminal investigation into Hunter Biden focused primarily on his taxes.

Shapley and Ziegler first testified to the House Ways and Means Committee in May and June with allegations of special treatment given to Hunter Biden by DOJ officials. House Republicans released a report Dec. 5 describing how testimony from numerous DOJ, FBI and IRS officials confirmed central allegations brought forward by the two whistleblowers. The White House disputed the IRS whistleblower testimony in a memo published when the House GOP report came out.

Hunter Biden’s failed guilty plea with DOJ prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware and his federal indictment in the Central District of California both confirm his initial contact with Schmidt happened around November 2019 as pressure built on him to get his tax returns prepared and filed.


“The demands for the Defendant’s tax returns steadily increased, escalating in November 2019. That month the Defendant hired the CA Accountants to prepare his late and unfiled individual income tax returns and Owasco, PC’s corporate returns for the 2017 and 2018 tax years,” the California indictment states.

Hunter Biden used his Owasco, P.C. business account to receive money from his foreign business dealings in Ukraine, China and Romania, bank records released by the House Oversight Committee show. He is facing nine federal tax charges in California related to his alleged failure to pay over $1 million in taxes for tax years 2016-19, despite making roughly $7 million over that time period.

Special counsel David Weiss continues to scrutinize Hunter Biden’s taxes as part of the ongoing investigation. His arraignment for the California charges is scheduled to take place in January, Reuters reported. (RELATED: Burisma Slashed Hunter Biden’s Salary When Donald Trump Took Office, New Indictment Shows)

Hunter Biden had to produce financial records for two separate lawsuits in 2019 and early 2020, one filed in Washington, D.C. by ex-wife Kathleen Buhle to enforce a marital separation agreement and the other filed in Arkansas by Lunden Alexis Roberts, the mother of Hunter Biden’s love child, to have him provide child support, the indictment details.

Roberts and Buhle filed lawsuits against Hunter Biden in May and June 2019, and Hunter Biden refused to provide financial records the courts needed to assess his financial situation. Between May and November 2019, the younger Biden spent his time in California working on his art and memoir, “Beautiful Things” published in April 2021, according to his failed guilty plea.

“Biden remained in California and spent much of Summer 2019 painting and developing plans for his memoir, which he began working on through the fall and into the winter. During Summer 2019 he was sued in two different domestic-relations lawsuits, both seeking payments to support obligations. He still did not, however, make preparations to file or actually file either his 2018 individual or corporate tax returns on or about October 15, 2019, the extension due date,” the failed guilty plea says.

The memoir is cited repeatedly in the California indictment because of Biden’s candid storytelling about his crack cocaine addiction and lavish lifestyle.

“Based on the facts and the law, if Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought,” Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe D. Lowell said in response to the California charges. He did not respond to a request for comment.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 19: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, arrives at the White House December 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. President Biden and family spent the weekend in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Long after Hunter Biden became sober, he similarly failed to make payments towards his tax liabilities, while possessing more than enough money to do so, the indictment says.

“Notably, in 2020, well after he had regained his sobriety, and when he finally filed his outstanding 2016, 2017, and 2018 Forms 1040, the Defendant did not direct any payments toward his tax liabilities for each of those years,” the document reads. Instead of paying his taxes, Hunter Biden maintained his lavish lifestyle after he became sober, according to the indictment.

Hunter Biden used his personal struggles and difficult divorce as excuses for why he did not file his tax returns, Schmidt recalled to IRS, FBI and DOJ officials. He and Buhle were married for over two decades and have three daughters together. She published her own memoir in June 2022 sharing the story of their marriage and its unraveling.

The Biden family did not acknowledge his daughter with Roberts until July 2023 after their child support dispute concluded. Lunden Roberts subsequently wrote an op-ed for the Daily Mail in November defending Hunter Biden amid his legal issues.

“Schmidt couldn’t recall why RHB had unfiled tax returns. Schmidt did recall that the reasons were just excuses: RHB had been through a difficult divorce, his prior accountant had passed away, he had been going through difficult times and that he had a breakup with his former business partner,” the Schmidt memo reads.

The younger Biden signed a letter of representation around Jan. 27, 2020 promising the information he provided to accountants was factual, according to the Schmidt memo and failed guilty plea. The accountant recalled difficulties getting the information he needed from his client.

Around the same time, his financier Kevin Morris held a crisis meeting at his residence with Hunter Biden, his attorney, Schmidt and others in his orbit, Ziegler said in an affidavit. Morris wrote an email in February 2020 expressing concerns about the political “risk” surrounding Hunter Biden’s tax returns and urging Schmidt to get them done.

The first son is also facing three federal gun charges in Delaware tied to an alleged firearm purchase he made in October 2018 when he was battling his crack cocaine addiction. He pleaded not guilty in October to the gun charges and seeks to have them dismissed.

House Republicans are conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden based on his son’s foreign business dealings and the IRS whistleblower testimony.

The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Elizabeth Naftali, one of Hunter Biden’s art buyers, and New York City art dealer George Berges in November as part of the impeachment inquiry.

Naftali, a Democratic party donor, was identified by Insider in July as one of Hunter Biden’s art patrons. President Biden appointed Naftali in July 2022 to serve on the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

Hunter Biden’s art sales have reportedly brought in $1.3 million for Berges’ gallery.