Thursday, January 15, 2009

Timothy Geithner's tax problems

"The Senate confirmation hearing of Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner was delayed Wednesday until the day after President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, meaning that the nominee's troubled tax history will prevent Obama from having his full economic team in place right away.

The hearing's timing also ensures that controversy over Geithner's income-tax errors could distract media attention from Obama's first full day in office. . . .

He's under fire for underpaying federal taxes from 2001 to 2004. During most of that time, he was an employee of the International Monetary Fund.

When he was made aware of the error, he paid the Internal Revenue Service - - an agency under the Treasury's jurisdiction - - more than $32,000 in back taxes and more than $8,000 in interest.

Blogs written by accountants were abuzz Wednesday over the revelation that Geithner prepared his own taxes at the time, a practice he's since stopped. . . .

Over the past decade, Geithner made other errors on his taxes, some as simple as claiming summer camps for his kids under the dependent child-care tax credit. That credit is reserved for working parents who must put their children in preschool programs or after-school care.

Geithner also failed to pay Social Security and Medicare contributions properly for three domestic workers on his personal payroll.

He's being criticized, too, for saying that he was unaware that he'd kept a housekeeper on his family payroll for three months in 2005 after her immigration documents had expired."

I prepare my own taxes.

The instructions for the child care tax credit form are very, very clear. It's not for day camp, sleep away camp, piano lessons, after school activities and all the other things upper middle class and rich people do with their kids to keep them busy. It's for day care for working parents.

If Geithner is incapable of reading and comprehending the instructions provided by the IRS, he has no business running the IRS.

If Geithner is incapable of following the instructions provided by the IRS, he's a tax cheat.

Or, are these things only wrong when Cheney does them?

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