Monday, October 6, 2008
Following up on this morning's post, Tax Profs Agree: Gov. Palin's Tax Returns Are Wrong: Jack Bogdanski (Lewis & Clark) notes that the State of Alaska did not follow its own per diem policies in Governor Palin's case, as set forth in this two-page memo, Income Tax Implications of Long-Term Per Diem. Jack notes:
This document is a potential blockbuster. It establishes two important facts:
- The state has long acknowledged that it had a duty to determine whether Palin's "tax home" was really Anchorage and Wasilla, a conclusion which would have required that her per diems be reported as taxable income.
- The state knew that when an employee is planning to spend a majority of her time on state business in the Anchorage area for a four-year period, Anchorage is the employee's "tax home," and per diems for time spent in the "tax home" are taxable income.
So why didn't Alaska officials follow the state's official policies and report Palin's per diems as taxable income on her W-2? Only they can answer that.
And how can the tax lawyer whose opinion was released by the McCain campaign on Friday say that "no special consideration was ever given to Governor Palin, notwithstanding that she was the governor of Alaska"?