The Rev. Al Sharpton paid himself a six-figure salary for the first time last year - even as his civil rights group drowns in red ink and his tax bill hit nearly $1 million.So his group (read: him) owes $1.1 million and he himself owes $998,000. And he's not in prison why exactly?
After back-to-back years in which he took no compensation from the National Action Network, Sharpton pulled down $250,000 last year, the organization's federal tax filings show.
The payday comes even as his group, a Harlem-based nonprofit organization, lists $1.1 million in unpaid city, state and federal payroll taxes as of Jan. 1, the group's auditor told the Internal Revenue Service.
At the same time, the reverend has three outstanding warrants totaling $988,000 in unpaid personal income taxes from 2002 to 2007, the state Department of Taxation and Finance says.
Reached in Georgia, Sharpton told the Daily News he and his organization have been in advanced settlement talks with the state and the feds.He sounds awfully sure of himself. And why not? He's been flouting the law for decades and he's laughing at the American people while gorging himself on shakedown money.
He says he has worked out a repayment plan and has been paying down his debt in agreed-upon installments, with a portion of income from his nationally syndicated radio talk show earmarked to pay his personal tax liabilities.
Meanwhile, the National Action Network has been negotiating a compromise offer with the IRS since February, and in March, it paid off its debt to the city and state, its auditor says in tax documents.
"The liability will be completely wiped out by the end of 2010 or the first quarter of 2011," Sharpton said. "It depends on how the negotiations go, but it will disappear."