(L-R) Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Rep Brian Schatz (D-HI), participate in a memorial service to honor the late Rep. Mark Takai (D-HI), 49, at the US Capitol September 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. ( Getty/AFP / Mark Wilson)

Satirical posts spread rumors of Pelosi audit

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Social media posts claim former US representative Tulsi Gabbard sent Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi $600.01 via the payment app Venmo, triggering a tax audit. This, however, comes from an account linked to a satirical website that boasts of its role in spreading "fake news."

"BREAKING Tulsi Gabbard Venmos Nanci Pelosi $600.01 forcing the IRS to audit Pelosi's finances," says an August 16, 2022 tweet.

Screenshot of a tweet taken August 23, 2022

The claim was then shared on Facebook and by several online articles.

However, this tweet came from an account that is connected to the Genesis Times, a satire site that boasts of being, "the most reliable source of fake news on the planet," at the top of their website.

Following the tweet, the site posted an article claiming that because of this transaction, and new requirements for reporting transactions greater than $600, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to audit Pelosi. The article even included a fake interview with the Speaker.

The suggestion of an audit is based on misleading claims that the Internal Revenue Service would require reporting of all online payment app transactions exceeding $600, when in fact this applies only to business payments, not person-to-person payments.

Audits are determined by what has not been included in a company or individual's tax return, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses determining factors when deciding to conduct one.

Last year, the Treasury Department developed a proposal to modify the financial reporting requirements for banks and mobile transaction apps. And on January 1, 2022, it became a requirement for direct payment platforms such as Venmo to report business income above more than $600 a year to the IRS.

This, however, does not mean that all payments of more than $600 will be taxed, nor does it mean that these payments will initiate an audit.

AFP reached out to the offices of Pelosi and Tulsi for more information.

AFP Fact Check has debunked other disinformation about Pelosi here.