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The IRS recently released a little-noticed advisory stating that its top targets in future business audits will include so-called “basket options,” the instruments that Renaissance and some other hedge funds have used to convert short-term capital gains to long-term profits that have lower tax rates.

But Renaissance, with assets estimated at billion on Dec.

Bush, said the optics surrounding the Mercers’ political connections and the IRS case “are terrible.” “The guy’s got a big case in front of the IRS,” said Painter, now a University of Minnesota law professor who is also vice chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

“He’s trying to put someone in there who’s going to drop the case.

Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for the Mercers, declined to comment on the case.

He pointed Mc Clatchy to a Renaissance statement issued in 2014 in response to the Senate findings.

” The case against Renaissance was initiated before Koskinen became commissioner.

It’s illegal for the IRS to discuss ongoing tax cases, and the agency declines to comment about Renaissance.

Richard Painter, chief White House ethics adviser under President George W.According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, he doled out more than million to outside conservative groups seeking to influence last year’s elections, while advocating the abolition of the IRS and much of the federal government.The Mercer Family Foundation, run by Rebekah Mercer, also has donated millions of dollars to conservative nonprofit groups that have called for the firing of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, an Obama administration holdover whose five-year term expires in November.Renaissance said then that its tax calculations were “appropriate under current law” and that it had “cooperated fully” with the IRS inquiry.Robert Martin, a lawyer in the IRS’s chief counsel’s office who co-authored the agency’s legal notices on the issue in 20, said the law covering reporting of the options profits had held up for more than 75 years.Trump has the legal authority to replace Koskinen and the IRS’s chief counsel, the other agency position requiring Senate confirmation.The latter post is occupied by an acting chief counsel.On March 29, at least 30 conservative leaders, including a Heritage Foundation representative, converged on the White House for an off-the-record meeting with Trump aides.The groups pressed a range of agendas, especially urging Koskinen’s firing, said one attendee, President Tom Fitton of the nonprofit group Judicial Watch.But in 2014, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a blistering report detailing Renaissance’s use of so-called “basket options” trades by its employees-only Medallion Fund to slash taxes on billion in profits.The panel estimated that Renaissance’s back tax bill dating to the earliest IRS audit would be at least .8 billion.

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