Sunday, March 30, 2008

Barack Obama's Tax Returns: Lingering Questions

Earth Hour interfered with income tax preparation at our house last night, but we are pleased to report that we won't be attempting to characterize political contributions as charitable contributions on our US-1040. Barack and Michelle Obama did just that a couple of years ago when they deducted a $13, 107 political contribution to the Congressional Black Caucus as charitable contribution on their 2006 tax return.

Deducting political contributions is strictly prohibited by the IRS, and I am still scratching my head about this incredible gaffe by two Harvard educated lawyers knowledgeable about both law and politics. Additionally, the return was professionally prepared by a firm that touts its tax expertise on its website. What exactly is going on here?

While Obama's campaign says that an amended return has been filed, that return should also be released. The "Oops, I made a mistake" rhetoric on Obama's part is growing tiring, but we would note that Barack himself never addressed this issue, leaving that to his official campaign spokesmen. Seeing this major mistake, Obama should come clean with the the identities of the $4,700 he deducted as gifts to "miscellaneous recognized charities" on his 2006 return." Obama's campaign also has disgorged hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions due to Tony Rezko donations, and given that money to what is reported as charities. Just what are those charities? After a mistake of the magnitude of the 2006 deduction mistake, it is amazing that no one has even raised this question, or that Obama, for all his talk about transparency, never revealed information about the miscellaneous charities or the gifts from his campaign.


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