Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

TurboTax, Geithner Edition

Following up on my January post, Geithner Blames Turbo Tax For His Tax Troubles:

Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner implied at his confirmation hearing that the mistakes in his tax returns were caused by his use of the TurboTax software program. Of course, as any tax professional knows, TurboTax (and any of the other leading software programs) easily calculates self-employment tax (as well as the disallowance of a dependent care deduction for the cost of your kids' overnight camps). The errors here were entirely Geithner's, not TurboTax's.

Mary O'Keeffe (Union College) provides screenshots showing that TurboTax has changed its tax preparation software for 2009 to prompt those working for an international organization like the IMF to report their self-employment income and pay self-employment taxes:

TurboTax Used by Geithner

2008 TurboTax

2009 TurboTax

2009 TurboTax  

Clicking on the "Explain This" link generates this explanation:

2009 TurboTax Explanation   

(Hat Tip: Joe Kristan.)

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Tracked on Dec 30, 2009 9:37:48 AM


The checks Geitner received for those payments are issued with the words: TAX ACCOUNT stamped on them.
A lengthy explanation and forms goes with them. The employee cannot NOT know.

Posted by: anon | Dec 30, 2009 8:53:00 PM

Looks like you're up for an audit.

Seriously, I've been hearing some strange rumors in DC about considerations in their new "rich guy audit unit."

Posted by: Some Law Talking Guy | Dec 30, 2009 5:34:57 PM

Fox is in henhouse. Now what do we do?

Posted by: Fat Man | Dec 30, 2009 2:46:22 PM

Wouldn't it have been simpler if the fourth check box down read, "Is your name Tim Geithner?"

Posted by: AnonymousSoNotAudited | Dec 30, 2009 2:42:33 PM

For the rest of us, there's Turbo Share (from -- scroll down ).

Posted by: anonymous taxpayer | Dec 30, 2009 2:20:59 PM

Next update for Timmy is hardware: a calculator with only 12 digits, to prevent further trillion dollar bailouts for his Wall Street buds.

Posted by: Duke | Dec 30, 2009 1:11:13 PM

There are no changes to the instructions that cannot be misunderstood by an idiot. or a crook.

Posted by: Georg Felis | Dec 30, 2009 1:10:17 PM

And shortly after this statement his pants caught on fire.

Posted by: Roux | Dec 30, 2009 1:07:00 PM