March 31, 2009

Kansas Governor And Obama's Back Up Nominee To Run HHS Has....Wait For It...Tax Issues
— DrewM

"Only" $7,000 or so in "unintentional errors", therefore no harm, no foul. Or something.

Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius has 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. The Kansas governor explained the changes to senators in a letter dated Tuesday that was obtained by The Associated Press. She said they involved charitable contributions, the sale of a home and business expenses.

...She and her husband paid a total of $7,040 in back taxes and $878 in interest to amend returns from 2005-2007.

The accountant discovered these errors:

_Charitable contributions over $250 are supposed to include an acknowledgment letter from the charity in order for a deduction to be taken. Out of 49 charitable contributions made, three letters couldn't be found.

_Sebelius and her husband sold their home in 2006 and then took a mistaken deduction for mortgage interest.

_Insufficient documentation was found for some business expense deductions.

In fairness, these items do seem relatively minor but there's there's the whole 'culture of tax avoidance' thing going on with the people who keep demanding more and more sacrifices. Seems like this is the kind of issue Republicans might want to beat to death, what with April 15th coming up and all.

No word on whether or not Joe Biden is going to question her patriotism.

UPDATE:
The Standard has Sebelius' letter to the Senate Finance Committee which explained the mortgage interest issue this way.

...According to Sebelius, an accountant who was hired to review tax returns for 2005, 2006, and 2007 discovered a number of errors. "In July of 2006, my husband and I sold our home for an amount less than the outstanding balance on our mortgage," Sebelius writes. "We continued paying off the loan, including interest we mistakenly believed continued to be deductible mortgage interest."

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