Editor: Paul L. CaronPepperdine University School of Law
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007
By Paul Caron
Following up on this morning's post about the release of Barack Obama's 2006 tax return: here is a copy of the return. Press commmentary:
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No, it's not mine. But, are you curious about Barack Obama's 2006 tax return? You can read about it HERE and download a pdf file of it at THIS SITE.... [Read More]
Tracked on Apr 17, 2007 7:55:11 PM
He took a deduction for a contribution to the Congressional Black Caucus?
Posted by: Justin | Apr 18, 2007 1:35:54 PM
I didn't look at his contributions until Justin pointed them out. If we eliminated a lot of chartible and non-profit groups that are involved in politics, we could cut the list in half--however, this is really pushing the deduction. Do you think that anyone at the IRS has the nerve to check that? I would also be suspicious of the dance theater. And, what is Treehouse Foods that gave him $51,200 in Non-Farm Income?
Oh well, at least he didn't deduct $3 per pair of used underwear like Hillary Clinton did for her husband on their older tax returns.
Posted by: Woody | Apr 22, 2007 11:56:52 AM
Wait, I see that the Treehouse foods income of $51,200 was for Obama's wife's director fees, and she's on the audit committee. She sure was lucky to get that job.
Posted by: Woody | Apr 22, 2007 12:02:50 PM
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. is a recognized public charity under IRC Section 501(c)(3) eligible to receive tax deductible contributions.
Posted by: MadCity | May 13, 2007 6:25:21 PM
It’s impressive that Mr. Obama has released a full copy of his tax return. I was tempted to to leave it on my assistant’s desk and told her to check in our new client. I have reviewed this return and have not seen anything that would be disallowed by the IRS. My firm would have been more aggressive. I would of tried to be more aggressive on the schedule C and might of gotten another 10k off of the return. I did review the Congressional Black Caucus website and found it is a 501(c)3 and contributions to it are deductable (much like the American Enterprise Institute. . Oh in case Woody does not get it you don't get those gigs like on the Audit Committee by being lucky. You get it because people trust your integrity and who you know.
Posted by: bradcpa | Feb 14, 2008 8:51:45 AM
What is striking to me about the Obamas' tax return is that there is no Schedule E income - no trusts, no limited partnerships, no business associates funnelling money to the Obamas through sweetheart land deals and what not. I would bet the Clintons have their fingers in lots of Schedule E pies.
Posted by: Karen Davis, EA | Feb 17, 2008 7:50:48 AM
A few things I notice:
1. Congressmen and Senators don't have to pay income tax to DC. Unless his wife's income is in DC, there should be no need to pay tax here. Wonder if he paid in both IL and DC just to avoid acrimony.
2. The Treehouse income probably should be SE income.
3. Obama ought to try to take advantage of the $5000 dependent care FSA if he can. At his tax bracket, this would save him $1823. As is, his personal-level credit is only saving him $1200.
4. He ought to consider paying his household employee in fringe benefits found in Publication 15B.
5. In my firm, I would never let a client put over $4700 under "miscellaneous approved charities." I don't care what his AGI is.
6. From a political perspective, why not just hire a payroll company and take the Schedule H off the return?
7. Why not put some dough in a non-deductible Tradtional IRA for his wife and him so that they can take advantage of the uncapped Roth conversion in a few years?
Posted by: Ryan Ellis | Feb 23, 2008 5:07:43 PM
Thats great, now I want to see all the other years passed? This doesn't give me a pattern at all. One year is not an adequate sample of his interests.
Posted by: Darryl Touchet | Mar 3, 2008 2:44:23 AM
Why is he complaining about the Clinton's not releasing
their 2007 tax returns?
Obama has not yet released his!
Oh, they are not due until April 15, 2008, or October 15, 2008,
with an extension to file.
Posted by: Real PA Voter | Mar 5, 2008 3:59:23 PM
I agree - this is not a good view of his interests- let's see them from the time he entered Illinois politics and now. And while I don't agree with the ethnic slurs being thrown his way, I must ask - why claim your tithe as a charitable deduction on your tax return?
Posted by: Naraj | Mar 5, 2008 7:39:32 PM
Joe - Obama's camp is not complaining that the Clinton's have not released their 2007 returns. They are demanding that she and Bill release any of their returns since 2001, which they have not. This is not just about tax returns; the issue here is the transperancy of the allegiances, financial dealings, and personal history of the person who would be president. For Clinton's part, she has not only withheld her tax returns but has also stalled on releasing the 10,000 or so pages of records that detail her activities as first lady, the very documentation that would demonstrate the "experience" she keeps touting.
Naraj - A tithe is a donation to a religious (non-political, and tax-exempt) organization; nearly every religious person who regularly contributes to a church, synagogue, temple, or otherwise deducts their contributions.
Posted by: Joe | Mar 7, 2008 5:41:12 PM
Wow... that is wrong that we require anyone to pay that much in tax... There really needs to be a cap... it just isn't fair... I would rather see an even tax for everyone... everyone has the same ability to earn, so they should be taxed the same... it is a shame to see Obama paying so much of his income away.
Posted by: Richard | Mar 8, 2008 12:46:23 AM
I think it is funny that Obama did not check the box to have $3 go to the Presidential Election Campaign on his tax return!!
Posted by: Dan | Mar 8, 2008 1:49:12 AM
How much did he tithe to the United Trinity Church, the racist church that he attends and obviously financially supports with his contribution?
Posted by: marion sommer | Mar 9, 2008 8:35:30 AM
I don't understand why you think it is wrong for someone to pay that much in tax? If it is all done by percentages, that is what he should pay. Furthermore, everyone does not have the same opportunity to earn, you should really take a hard look around you and see what is really going on with job opportunities and who is in control of the country because he/she has more money.
Posted by: Christine James | Mar 11, 2008 12:17:44 AM
This is amazingly transparent of Barack. Where are Hillary's tax returns? Seems like she would want to release them if she wants to compete with him. I guess maybe she has something to hide.
Posted by: Bootpdx | Mar 20, 2008 1:21:33 PM
Where's the interest and dividend income in 2004 and 2003? Something is wrong here. 2006 and over 5K, 2005 had over 15K and then nothing in 2004 and 2003 but yest 2002 had some.
Posted by: missing interest income | Mar 25, 2008 2:05:34 PM
Senator Obama deserves a lot of respect for this. It is part of the future transparentcy he is talking about. It is very important that we see the Clinton's return as well. Unfortunately, we will probably never see those. I never doubted Obama, however, this proves that he means what he says. This man has my complete 100 percent trust
Posted by: Beate | Mar 25, 2008 2:10:18 PM
Donations to CARE huh? Is this the Islamic hate group I'm thinking of?
Posted by: MikeD | Mar 25, 2008 5:12:14 PM
After listening to the Obamas, their past and present pastor, and their congregation's anti-American screaming and gyrating about the lack of opportunities in America ... the Obamas sure did benefit financially from our American system.
They made MUCH more than the majority of Americans make ... white, or black. And, especially considering the fact that we paid Obama for voting 'present' during most of his time in the senate ... and, since he didn't vote once on the Afganistan committe he chaired.
Posted by: Howard | Mar 25, 2008 5:14:36 PM
How come he makes close to $1M but don't pay any AMT? I make much less but get hit by AMT?
Also, I don't believe he doesn't have any capital gain. With his level of income, he probably have a lot of investment holding, even someone like me get hit but more than $10k in capital gain due to mutual fund holdings.
Posted by: ching | Mar 25, 2008 7:41:19 PM
Joe if every made the same, would you want that to be minimum wage or Bill Gates salary?
Posted by: Bud Lewis | Mar 25, 2008 8:52:52 PM
Wouldn't his wife's director fees from Treehouse Foods be subject to self employment taxes? I think they should be reported on Schedule C, not as other miscellaneous income on line 21.
Fees paid for attending directors' meetings and for servicing as a director represent self-employment earnings (Rev. Rul. 68-595, 1968-2 CB 378 ). Therefore, a director will be liable for self-employment tax in the year fees are received.
Posted by: friday | Mar 25, 2008 9:17:15 PM
she is paying SE tax - $1,371 - see page 15
Posted by: guest | Mar 25, 2008 9:52:57 PM
the treehouse is subject to s/e...look at her schedule se after mr. obama's.
Posted by: youngcpa | Mar 25, 2008 10:03:07 PM
and amt is not just based on your amount of agi. look up the instructions for form 6251 to become more familiar.
Posted by: youngcpa | Mar 25, 2008 10:04:39 PM
It's pretty obvious some of these folks are on Obama's payroll ...
"Senator Obama deserves a lot of respect for this. It is part of the future transparentcy he is talking about. It is very important that we see the Clinton's return as well. Unfortunately, we will probably never see those. I never doubted Obama, however, this proves that he means what he says. This man has my complete 100 percent trust"
"This is amazingly transparent of Barack. Where are Hillary's tax returns? Seems like she would want to release them if she wants to compete with him. I guess maybe she has something to hide."
It's incredible how some people are willing to blindly trust this man without even knowing him ... he's a politician, people! It's an election and he will say or do whatever he needs to say or do just to get elected.
Posted by: On Obama's Payroll | Mar 25, 2008 11:36:16 PM
Everyone, look a little closer, the $51,200 is being reported as SE income...Just because it is reported under the "Other Income" line and not on Schedule C doesn't mean that it is not also being reported as SE income on Schedule SE.
Posted by: CGJ | Mar 26, 2008 1:36:54 AM
Michelle's director fees would only be SE income if she is considered to be in the trade or business of being a director.
Posted by: Terry CPA | Mar 26, 2008 2:40:06 AM
Let's not criticize Obama's tax return until we see Clintons. Why won't they release theirs? I bet she is not going to release them on the 15th. She is waiting for the Pa primary and then do the right thing and bow out without showing her returns at all. Clintons are not honest and 8 years of them is enough.. Let's get morals and integrity back to Washington..
Posted by: Dorothy | Mar 26, 2008 9:35:11 AM
Why didn't they take the telephone excise credit?
Posted by: Brian | Mar 26, 2008 10:23:37 AM
Doesn't it bother people that Michelle makes $273,000 as a hospital administrator? Thats more than most of the doctors at U of Chicago - I wonder if she got the job because of skill and experience or political influence? Maybe she will work hard for health care reform, like cutting the administrative waste!
Posted by: Jim | Mar 26, 2008 1:28:07 PM
Looks like he exemplifies American values, spend everything you make! Look at his schedule B. At over $900,000 of income I would expect to see a lot more interest and dividends. But of course the mortgage expense is $60k.
Posted by: Helen, CPA | Mar 26, 2008 7:02:42 PM
Well, if you want to find evil, you will. Helen thinks he spent everything, when nearly half of the family income came from his book. Anybody ever look into how and when publishers pay? Do you think they pay you twice a month like an employer does? What if all or nearly all that half million came at the end of the year, and the results of investing it won't begin showing up until 2008? I'm not saying that's what happened, but it's certainly possible. Aside from a personal view that he should be seeing more in investment income, it looks like a pretty straightforward return to me.
Posted by: AR | Mar 27, 2008 10:33:00 AM
Posted by: LOL | Mar 28, 2008 4:18:36 AM
Well that was good for a laugh! Are we computing planetary conjunction or collecting revenue? My God, can't we simplify the tax code? Please, people?
Back to my schedule C. Oh how I yearn for a return to a simpler time, the days of youth, an EZ-1040, and Telefile. But here I sit, downloading Publication after Publication, filling out dead-end worksheets, contemplating ambiguous instructions, and grasping for meaningful deductions.
Posted by: Tom | Mar 30, 2008 11:17:33 PM
A TITHE is defined as a tenth of income voluntary given to support the church (not other charities).
Therefore, on the income of $991,296.00 for 2006 a TITHE would have been $99,129.60. Obama gave $22,500.00 to his church for the 2006 tax year. This was only 2.27% of his income ... far below the 10%. (His total gifts to charity were $60,307 or 6.08%.)
The Obamas gave $10,770 of the $1.2 million they earned from 2000 through 2004 to charities, or less than 1 percent, according to tax returns for those years. The Obamas increased the amount they gave to charity when their income rose in 2005 and 2006 after the Illinois senator published a bestselling book.(and when he begin to run for President ... giving increased) The $137,622 they gave over those two years amounted to more than 5 percent of their $2.6 million income.
Considering his level of income and the percentages he donated, his history of giving to charities from 2000 to 2006 does not represent a very charitable heart for someone seeking the highest office in our nation. (The family's donations to all recipients totaled $2,350 in 2000, $1,470 in 2001, $1,050 in 2002, $3,400 in 2003, and $2,500 in 2004.)
But, of more even of more concern is the only 2.27% he gave to his church in 2006. A church he has been associated with for 20 years, a church and pastor he credits for leading him to his faith in God, a church who made him a believer.
Yet, we are instructed by the Bible to give 10% back to the storehouse of The Lord ... and he only gave 2.27%.
Bill Burton, a campaign spokesman, said the Obamas gave as much as they could afford. (I guess that let's know where his priorities were ... if you want to give to the church that made a difference in life ... then you budget it up front .. give first to the church ... not what you did not spend.)
This man wants to handle the budget of our nation ... and from the stand point of his giving to his church and charity and what his savings record reflects (The Obamas' tax returns also show they had little in savings during the same period. They reported no dividends or capital gains over the five years and reported $33 in taxable interest, all of which was received in 2002.) .... does not reflect very well upon him.
What a man does with his money or does not do with money, tells you a lot about him.
Posted by: Tom | Apr 1, 2008 3:45:47 PM
I'm a Christian and I have never given 10% of my income to my church. That's a very protestant mentality. You give what you feel you can give.
Get off your high horse. If you don't think a $22,500 donation to a church is high enough, then tell me where you go to church at and I'll become your minister.
Posted by: John | Apr 4, 2008 12:16:39 PM
You know guys, I have been doing taxes for years. Are you sure these are his real tax returns? On my work computer I can whip any tax return for any tax year...and use whipe-out to "smudge" over the SSNs..
Posted by: Gena | Apr 4, 2008 4:52:06 PM
wow john, how do we know that it was really you who posted that riduculous white out comment? I mean, they let any old body have internet access these days...
Posted by: erica | Apr 4, 2008 9:15:47 PM
why would you publish his home address when it was redacted in the tax returns that were released to the public?
Posted by: Susan McKeever | Apr 4, 2008 10:47:43 PM
What is the big deal about Obama and Trinity. If he was a faithful member, he would have paid tithes which would have been around 91000.00. Trinity is a church you go to if you are important and want to have sense of religion, more so than gettting close to God.
Posted by: keith | Apr 5, 2008 4:19:38 AM
We in Chicago know that Trinity is the Church to go to if you are a midle to upper class black and you want to feel a sense of religion. If he was a faithful member, he would have paid tithes
Posted by: keith | Apr 5, 2008 4:24:58 AM
You guys should black out his home address. I can't believe the secret service lets you post it as is!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Michelle | May 12, 2008 12:33:03 PM
My question: How did Obama make so much money after paying college and law school debts and working mostly as a community organizer. And, now be worth 1.4 million?
Posted by: marie mcshane | Oct 21, 2008 7:43:15 PM
I find it laughable that during the five-year period 2000-2004 they earned a whopping total of $71 in interest income. This guy is telling us he can figure out the country's financial woes when he doesn't even have $100 in the bank earning interest in 3 of the 5 years!!
I can only conclude from this he is very familiar with how to spend money but doesn't have a clue how to save money. Not even a measly $100 in a savings account!! Pathetic.
Posted by: | Dec 11, 2008 11:28:57 AM
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