Elijah Cummings owed IRS $30,000 in back taxes


In light of the most recent revelations about Elijah Cummings and the IRS, I thought it would be interesting to discuss Cummings and his past history with the IRS.

In 1999, David Folkenflik of The Baltimore Sun wrote an article on Cummings and his financial problems.

From that 1999 article (emphasis added):

Among his most serious troubles:

In the mid-1990s, the Internal Revenue Service filed court papers declaring that Cummings was legally obliged to pay more than $30,000 in unpaid federal taxes. He finished paying those taxes earlier this year.

Cummings appears to have violated campaign finance law by having a donor co-sign a loan that supplied $15,000 for his first House campaign, attorneys knowledgeable about that law say.

In five instances, creditors went to court to force Cummings to pay a total of $24,000 in overdue debts.

Cummings said he has been short of money, in part, because he helps to support three children: his college-age daughter with his now-estranged wife and two children he fathered by other women out of wedlock — a 16-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter. Cummings said he paid about $30,000 last year in child support and tuition payments.

More details on the IRS issues:

In 1991, according to tax records, Cummings failed to pay $20,949 in federal taxes, mostly business-related. In 1992, he failed to pay $3,847. In 1993, the figure was $6,054. The total: $30,850. The congressman said he simply did not have enough money to pay all his taxes while balancing other priorities.

“When you have limited resources, what you try to do is stretch those resources,” he said. “We always made sure our employees were paid.”

On federal disclosure forms, Cummings reported making $67,440 in 1995 — $38,600 as a lawyer and $28,840 as a state legislator. During his time as a state legislator, from 1983 to 1996, he had not been required to detail his finances.

The IRS filed court documents against Cummings seeking the unpaid taxes — including an order to pay $9,901 in June 1996, two months after he went to Congress.

Cummings did pay nearly $3,900 of his outstanding taxes, penalties and interest in April 1996, three days after winning election to Congress. He satisfied an additional $17,030 that May. But the congressman did not finish paying the final $9,901 tax bill until January of this year [1999].

Cummings wasn’t a fan of the IRS in 1997, according to the ’99 article in The Sun:

In a column in the Baltimore Afro-American in November 1997, published just after the House voted to overhaul the IRS, Cummings wrote that he shared many constituents’ distress over the agency.

“All of us pay taxes,” he wrote. “Many of us share a paralyzing fear that we have made a mistake when we file our tax return by the April deadline. We have all heard the horror stories of the dreaded audit or the mistake made by the IRS and the years it took to fix it.”

In an interview, Cummings said he never asked the IRS to reduce his tax penalties or interest.

“We paid every single dime,” Cummings said. A spokesman for the IRS declined to comment, saying it is the agency’s policy to protect taxpayers’ privacy.

It seems Cummings has changed his tune on the IRS since the 90s.

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton is an award-winning blogger who has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. He has worked as a reporter, in government, and as a communications professional in Columbia, SC and Washington, DC.

Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.

Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Jeff Quinton

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  1. Two children out of wedlock? Well, given what Rep Cummings looks like, you take it when you can get it. The question is, what did the females have to look like?

  2. Mr. Cummings is a one man economic stimulus package, at least he puts his money back into the community instead of spending it on Martha’s Vineyard.