L.A. Times editorial: Timothy Geithner, the tax Code's Poster Boy:
The complex rules that trip up financial sophisticates such as Geithner are a minefield for the honest and a gold mine for cheats. It's long past time for Washington to whittle down the tax laws, stripping the layers of incentives and disincentives in favor of a system that simply raises the money needed to fund the government in a fair and equitable way. Then, perhaps, we can spend more time talking about nominees' expertise and less about their tax returns.
Miami Herald: Q&A on Geithner's Tax Mistakes:
One of the more egregious errors was that Geithner, over three different tax years, claimed that expenses for the summer camps he'd sent his children to qualified for the child and dependent-care tax credit. This credit is for working parents with children younger than 13 who send them to preschool or after-school care. IRS documents and commercially available tax software clearly define what qualifies.
"That's one anyone who has kids and has filled out that form knows that it's wrong. That's really odd," said Paul Caron, a prominent tax-law expert and associate dean at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
National Review: The Leona Helmsley Administration:
If I happen to forget to pay some of my taxes, will the IRS say, "Hey, no big deal, no penalties"? Because they said that to Treasury Secretary nominee Tim Geithner.
New York Times editorial: More Questions for Mr. Geithner:
As much as Mr. Obama and his team may wish it, however, the disclosures cannot be dismissed so easily, or papered over. The just-the-facts report of Mr. Geithner’s tax transgressions, compiled and released by the Senate Finance Committee, paints a picture of noncompliance that is considerably more disturbing than his supporters are acknowledging. ...
Many people find taxes baffling, but before his job at the I.M.F, Mr. Geithner was a senior official in the Treasury Department under President Clinton, and for the past five years he has been the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. With that professional profile, tax transgressions are tough to excuse.
Wall Street Journal Best of the Web Today: Now You SE Him, Now You Don't: Will Gaithner's tax problem Sink His Nomination After All?:
In other words, as National Review's Byron York puts it, "he accepted payment from the IMF as restitution for taxes that he had not, in fact, paid." That seems worse than merely overlooking the tax obligation.
Wall Street Journal editorial: A Geithner Tax Amnesty:
For our part, we are delighted that Mr. Baucus and Democrats are suddenly in such a forgiving tax mood. In addition to being a teaching moment for liberals, perhaps Mr. Geithner's tax snafu can do all of America some good. We'd suggest that Mr. Geithner and Mr. Baucus together set a new standard for the IRS in dealing with people who, like Mr. Geithner, make a boo-boo on their tax returns.
Let's have an amnesty -- with penalties waived, as they were for Mr. Geithner -- for all those Americans who somehow "forgot" to pay their taxes but are now willing to fess up or are audited. If forgiveness is to be the order of the day for the man for the man who may soon be responsible for the IRS, American taxpayers deserve a similar reprieve
Washington Post: After Tax Errors Raised, GOP Leaders Defend Treasury Nominee:
Was he cheating on his taxes or just sloppy with his finances? Lawmakers vetting the nomination of Timothy F. Geithner to serve as Treasury secretary say they may never be sure. But leading Republicans nonetheless joined Democrats in leaping to his defense yesterday, calling Geithner's tax gaffes small potatoes compared with his qualifications for saving the global economy.
Prior TaxProf Blog posts: