Saturday, 6 June 2009
Sarah Palin's wrongdoings
It's nearly time for Sarah Palin to cough up the money she owes the state for her children's travel. The ethics complaint filed by Frank Gwartney last October wasn't frivolous after all!
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has until June 23 to reimburse the state for an estimated $10,000 in costs associated with trips taken by her children, under an agreement resolving an ethics complaint against her. The board found no wrongdoing on Palin's part. (as usual)
There were 72 trips and Sarah Palin will reimburse the state for 10 of them.
That's between her and the state of Alaska.
What I would like to know is how the IRS regard these trips. I have seen the Palin's tax return for 2008 but can't find the link anymore. I don't remember seeing any money for travel by her family members listed as income in there. There's no mention of travel on the 2007 document either.
Sarah Palin had to amend her tax returns and pay tax on her per diems. Did she pay tax on the family travel as well?
If she had to pay tax on her own per diems as a legitimate state official, I would expect the family travel to be even more taxable as they hold no official position in the Alaska government.
I re-read all the ADN articles related to both the per diems and the family travel but couldn't find any questions about tax on the latter. All I could find was that she was completely innocent of any wrongdoing, but being a good girl she decided to pay the state back for some of the travel out of the goodness of her heart.
In an article dated October 5, 2008, Jack Bogdanski discusses this very subject:
There is no question whatsoever that the payments for the Palin children's travel -- $24,728.83 -- were indeed taxable to Governor Palin. The money paid for Todd Palin's travel -- $18,761.37 -- might possibly turn out to be tax-free, but it would be quite a stretch. And the per diems and other travel payments to the governor herself ($16,951) may or may not be taxable, but certainly not because state law or the state payroll office says so.
(More on this from TaxProf)
What's Sarah Palin's tax liability, then? Certainly not on the $10,000 she's giving back because she did nothing wrong, but what about all the other children's trips and Todd's travel during her time in office?