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I feel faint

It isn't very often that I find myself in agreement with Maureen Dowd?

How does a guy(Tim Geithner) on the fast track to be Treasury secretary fail to pay $34,000 worth of federal taxes ($43,200, including interest), or forget to check on the immigration status of a house cleaner -- the same sort of upstairs-downstairs slip-up that has tripped up other top-drawer prospects on their way to top jobs here? Americans expect the man who's in charge of the I.R.S. to pay his own taxes.
My take on what happened with Geithner based on my years of doing income tax work. He delegated the work to a professional who he assumed would do the job correctly. It didn't happen, and Geithner can't be absolved of all blame. He signed the tax return. Though I will admit, his tax returns are probably quite massive and it would be hard for someone to know all the details in it are correct.

Hat tip- Below the Beltway


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Comments (15)

I read somewhere else that ... (Below threshold)

I read somewhere else that he had done his own taxes for several years. And that makes sense to me because any paid preparer would have used software that would immediately flag such an oversight.

Also, anyone the least familiar with doing their taxes, even just gathering the info for an accountant knows about self-employment tax.

It's such a stupid way to cheat on your taxes and that tells me he may not all that bright.

"How does a guy... top jobs... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"How does a guy... top jobs"

Umm it is easy. Get nominated by Barrack Obama and all is well. No other standard need apply.

Bill,I'm one of thos... (Below threshold)
CODEKEYGUY:

Bill,
I'm one of those "professionals" who would be delegated the task of preparing a return. I'm an Enrolled Agent, and I take my responsibility seriously. When I prepare a return, and ther are TAXES DUE, my client and I have a long discussion covering HOW IT WILL BE PAID. Therefore, if the taxes are not paid, IT IS NOT BECAUSE THE CLIENT FORGOT, OVERLOOKED, OR OTHERWISE failed to make proper payment. And Geithner is a PROFESSIONAL FINANCIAL person, who is EXPECTED THE KNOW THE FULES.
Excuse my YELLING!!!

When someone comes up with ... (Below threshold)

When someone comes up with an excuse for Geithner that would also work for me at an IRS audit, then I'd be willing to let it slide.

I am sorry, I don't think i... (Below threshold)
bill-tb:

I am sorry, I don't think it's as simple as that. The IMF gives employees briefings about the tax status. They also reimburse them for taxes paid.

As a former contractor, you know full well, you are supposed to pay taxes, and you are supposed to file quarterly estimates.

I bet he now wishes the IMF paid in cash.

Maybe he forgot to check th... (Below threshold)

Maybe he forgot to check the box "democrat" on the form, once you do that, all is forgiven.

The Senate finance committe... (Below threshold)
dave:

The Senate finance committee has documents posted. Look at the documents and look up what criminal tax evasion is. The real question is
why he wasn't prosecuted. Wesley Snipes is innocent next to this guy. They had less on Al
Capone.

Rangel got off of his tax o... (Below threshold)
John:

Rangel got off of his tax offenses...as did Franken...seriously watch for it...watch...

Oh, bullcrap... even the ta... (Below threshold)
Stephanie:

Oh, bullcrap... even the tax professionals use software that is input from the w2 form. If the ss and medicare lines are blank the software wants to know why and will 1)either demand that one of the exception boxes be checked which starts one flurry of tax questions resulting in it being account for or 2) will automatically trigger the SE tax form and calculate the taxes. In zero instances will the computer print a form that has not complied with tax law. I call BS on the "accountant screwed up" argument... they don't do taxes with a pencil and calculator anymore.

Dowd Goes on to say: "Geith... (Below threshold)

Dowd Goes on to say: "Geithner's transgressions may seem petty given the kind of transgressions that have taken place in the Bush administration."

I was SO hoping to have the opportunity to whole heartedly agree with one of Dowd's articles.

Bill He knew what he had to... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Bill He knew what he had to do


Mr. Geithner "filled out, signed and submitted an annual tax allowance request worksheet with the IMF that states, 'I wish to apply for tax allowance of U.S. federal and state income taxes and the difference between the "self-employed" and "employed" obligation of the U.S. Social Security tax which I will pay on my Fund income,'" the Finance Committee reported

He should not get the appointment because
1. He was President of Federal Reserve Bank of NY
2.He played a role in Bailout of AIG
3. Rescue and sale of Bear Sterns.
It another Term for the current Sec of Treasury and we really do need Change at Treasury.

You or I would have long si... (Below threshold)
btenney:

You or I would have long since been convicted of this crime.
Unless Obama stops nominating Criminals and technological Idiots to his Cabinet this Administration will continue to be a Joke.

Maybe...Maybe, the failure ... (Below threshold)
shockwaver:

Maybe...Maybe, the failure to pay was an oversight on his part. But when the audit showed these taxes were due he should have paid all the years due, not just those this side of the statute of limitations. After all, it is his "patriotic duty" to pay taxes and his compensation was "grossed up" which means he got enough extra from IMF to pay the taxes without dipping into his own funds. Waiting to pay the non-required ones until he was nominated for this cabinet position strikes me as being like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar and making all sorts of excuses. Can we expect that when he screws up in the future he will try to cover up those mistakes too? I think so.

He will be in charge of the... (Below threshold)
Cathy:

He will be in charge of the IRS and he cheats on his personal taxes? Am I missing something? Why is this guy even an option?

This guy is tax challenged,... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

This guy is tax challenged, he had problems with his income tax filings 1993-1995,1996,2001,2002,2003,2004.
Maybe he needs personal staff of IRS agents to help him with Taxes. Though he needs someone else to pick them because he seem incapable of select qualified Tax professionals. (Wonder if he uses H&R Blow or JW Hewitt )




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