Saturday, September 20, 2008
I previously blogged Sarah Palin's Tax Problem surrounding the tax treatment of the per diem reimbursement she received for travel, meals, and lodging expenses as governor of Alaska. The New York Times picks up the story in Are Palin’s Per Diem Payments Taxable?, by Leslie Wayne:
The McCain campaign has said it will release Sarah Palin’s tax returns and when it does, tax attorneys will have their pencils sharp and ready to go over the numbers.
Several tax accounting blogs have raised the question: should Sarah Palin pay federal income taxes on the per-diem payments that she received from the state of Alaska for nights spent in her Wasilla, Alaska, home?
Anthony C. Infanti, a professor of tax law at the University of Pittsburg law school, raised the issue in a blog called “Feminist Law Professors.” Mr. Infanti writes that if Governor Palin was not engaging in business while in Wasilla, but simply preferring to spend the nights there, then the per diem payments would be taxable income. ...
Ms. Palin received around $17,000 in per diem payments from the state for 312 nights she spent in her Wasilla home rather than the Governor’s mansion in her first 19 months in office. ... Kim Garnero, the Alaska director of finance, has said that the state does not consider the payments to Ms. Palin to be taxable income at the federal level. But others, besides Mr. Infanti, differ.
One of them is Robert S. McIntyre, director of the Citizens for Tax Justice, a labor-backed group whose calculations are widely respected by tax experts. “It’s obvious that the per diems are taxable income. There’s no question it is taxable,’’ Mr. McIntyre said.
See also Daily Kos, Is Sarah Palin a Tax Cheat?