Tuesday, March 31, 2009
In advance of her Senate confirmation hearing, Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius has corrected three years of tax returns and paid more than $7,000 in back taxes after finding several "unintentional errors" involving deductions for charitable contributions, mortgage interest, and business expenses:
Charitable contributions: For charitable contributions in excess of $250, taxpayers must have an acknowledgment letter from the charitable organization in order to take a tax deduction. Out of 49 charitable contributions we made in these three years, there were three for which we could not locate our acknowledgment letter. The amended returns eliminated these deductions.
Interest: In July of 2006, my husband and I sold our home for an amount less than the outstanding balance on our mortgage. We continued paying off the loan, including interest we mistakenly believed continued to be deductible mortgage interest. Another loan for home improvements was treated similarly. These errors were corrected in our amended returns.
Business expenses: In reviewing our taxes, we discovered we had insufficient documentation required to claim some of our tax deductions for business expenses. While the amended returns reflect these changes, they did not affect the amount of taxes owed because we were subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax.