First it was Geithner and his self-employment tax issues.
Now, a new Obama pick for the Cabinet has tongues in the Senate Finance Committee wagging over tax matters: Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD).
The Senate Finance committee plans to review a number of items when they meet on Monday. The issues that concern the committee are tax related omissions: the use of a limousine and driver, totaling more than $250,000, that Daschle didn’t disclose on his income taxes; failing to report more than $80,000 he earned in consulting fees and taking a charitable deduction for a donation to a nonqualifying organization. The tax years in question are not years in which Daschle served in the Senate.
Senator Daschle has apparently since filed an amended tax return and paid an additional $128,203 in taxes, plus $11,964 in interest. But will it be enough to quiet the critics? I don’t think so.
Despite the face that the Democrats are putting on the confirmation hearings, this is not good for Daschle. Some tax omissions or errors are understandable. Failing to report more than $325,000 of income over a three year period isn’t quite so understandable especially when, like Geithner, Daschle was in a financial position to obtain good tax advice. This leads me to believe that he either surrounds himself with people that provide bad advice or he makes bad decisions (purposeful or not).
I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt on the charitable donation. Many nonprofit organizations are not tax-exempt, and this is not always made clear to donors even though it is the responsibility of the donor to confirm tax exempt status before taking a deduction. Reportedly, these donations were to nonqualifying charitable foundations. The donations, totaling about $14,000, were removed from three years’ worth of income tax returns.
But my sympathy ends about there.
Daschle is going to have to answer some tough questions in the coming weeks. And even in a desperate economy, the patience of taxpayers will only go so far. What signals are we sending that “regular” people must be compliant when even the rich and political
don’t want to can’t figure out our current Tax Code?
- Does Anyone In DC Pay Their Taxes?
- Obama Admits Mistake In Daschle Nod
- Geithner Confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury
- Daschle Is “Deeply Embarrassed and Disappointed” By Tax Issues
- Obama’s Treasury Pick Under Fire for Tax Liability