Saturday, October 04, 2008

Is Sarah Palin A Tax Cheat?

The United States of America is a union of states. As with any union, dues must be paid and in order to keep America the greatest country on earth it is the patriotic duty of every American to pay these dues. Some people, like Sarah Palin, disagree with this notion and think freedom means the shortest distance between two points is an angle.

Sorry if you didn't understand that last sentence, because I was channeling the gibberish of Ms. Palin and did not provide anyone with the benefit of a UN headset.

Seriously though, Sarah Palin has been playing fast and loose with the tax code, thinking it is really just another wingnut welfare program. The rub is that her house is in Wasilla but the governors mansion is in Juneau. Since she is rarely in the governors mansion, I've seen reports indicating a total of 85 days, she feels comfortable billing the state for per diem while at her home in Wasilla. Problem is, the feds sorta disagree with Sarah charging the government for sleeping in her own bed.

We'll let ABC News take it from here:

Of particular interest: roughly $17,000 in state-issued per diems for evenings spent in her own home in Wasilla. The Washington Post recently reported that the per diems and associated travel costs from the state capital in Juneau for Palin’s family could mean a tax liability of more than $60,000 for Palin’s first year and a half as governor.

The address listed on the 1040’s is Palin's family home in Wasilla, which would seem to suggest Palin considers that, not the governor’s mansion in Juneau, her "tax home." However the McCain-Palin campaign maintains that her “tax home” is technically the governor's mansion in Juneau.

The point is potentially significant because any per diems and travel reimbursements received in connection with someone’s “tax home” would likely be taxable as income. According to IRS regulations: "If you (and your family) do not live at your tax home (defined earlier), you cannot deduct the cost of traveling between your tax home and your family home. You also cannot deduct the cost of meals and lodging while at your tax home."

The IRS also strictly forbids deductions for expenses incurred bringing a spouse and kids along on a business trip. Tax authorities say any reimbursement for travel costs for family members would likely incur income taxes.

But Palin’s tax returns indicate she paid no taxes on the disputed per diems and travel expenses.

The problem here is Sarah Palin feels she should be paid to stay at her own home while not claiming this as income. This does not come anywhere near passing the smell test and depicts Sarah Palin as someone willing to cheat old ladies out of their social security checks.

Everyone should help keep this the greatest country in the world. Why doesn't Sarah Palin feel the same way?

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