March 31, 2009

TAXES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE. And people named to the Cabinet. “Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius recently corrected three years of tax returns and paid more than $7,000 in back taxes after finding ‘unintentional errors’ _ the latest tax troubles for an Obama administration nominee.” I notice that H&R Block has been claiming that when they review people’s tax forms they typically find a lot of missed deductions. I can only conclude that they’re not checking Obama Administration nominees’.

UPDATE: A reminder from the L.A. Times:

Sebelius was actually a replacement Obama nominee for ex-Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle, who admitted paying about $140,000 in back taxes and penalties from recent years. Others, including Treasury Secy. Timothy Geithner, performance officer Nancy Kelleher and ex-Democratic Rep. and now Labor Secy. Hilda Solis, also had back tax problems, which were paid up and disclosed after their nominations.

Kelleher, like Daschle, withdrew her name. The others were confirmed anyway.

Read the whole thing. More here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Rand Keller writes:

According to the article:

Sebelius said she sold her home in Topeka, Kan., for an amount less than the outstanding balance on the mortgage. She continued paying off the loan and the interest for which they continued to claim a deduction.

Did the bank(s) know that they were holding loans with no collateral? Inquiring minds, you know.

Good question. Meanwhile, TigerHawk has thoughts.

MORE: Reader Tom Getchell writes:

Whatever else one makes of the serial tax dodgers nominated by this administration, the message comes through loud and clear that we have a federal tax system that is either so unjust that it invites cheating, or so complex that even the smartest among us can’t figure it out. Neither alternative is a good one. And I say that as an estate planning lawyer.

Indeed.