Timothy Geithner---should he be the Sec of Treasury?

qdognjJanuary 22, 2009

Tax problems

At the Senate confirmation hearings, it was revealed through documentary evidence that Geithner had not paid $35,000 self-employment taxes for several years,[20] even though he had acknowledged his obligation to do so, and had filed a request for, and received, a payment for half the taxes owed. The failure to pay self-employment taxes was noted during a 2006 audit by the Internal Revenue Service, in which Geithner was assessed additional taxes of $14,847 for the 2003 and 2004 tax years. Geithner failed to pay, or to admit his failure to pay, the self-employment taxes for the 2001 and 2002 tax years until after President-elect Obama expressed his intent to nominate Geithner to be Secretary of Treasury.[21] He also deducted the cost of his children's sleep-away camp as a dependent care expense, when only day camp is eligible for the deduction.[22] Geithner subsequently paid the IRS the additional taxes owed,[23] but was not charged a penalty for late-payment.[citation needed] In addition, his housekeeper's work authorization lapsed during the last three months she worked for him.[24]

Geithner's employer at the time, the International Monetary Fund, gives its American employees the employer's half of the payroll taxes, expecting that the employees will deposit the money with the Internal Revenue Service.[25] A report from the Senate Finance Committee documented Geithner's errors.[26] While working for IMF, Geithner signed a tax worksheet stating his "obligation of the U.S. Social Security tax, which I will pay on my fund income"[26] and another annual worksheet stating "I wish to apply for tax allowance of U.S. federal and state income taxes and the difference between the 'self-employed' and 'employed' obligation of the U.S. Social Security tax which I will pay on my Fund income."[27]

In a statement to the Senate panel considering his nomination, Geithner called the tax issues "careless", "avoidable", and "unintentional" errors, and he said he wanted to "apologize to the committee for putting you in the position of having to spend so much time on these issues."[23] Geithner testified that he used TurboTax to prepare his own return and that the tax errors are his own responsibility.[28] The Washington Post quoted a tax expert who said that TurboTax has not been programmed to handle self-employment taxes when the user identifies himself as being employed.[29] Geithner said at the hearing that he was always under the impression that he was an employee, not a self-employed contractor,[29] while he served as director of the Policy Development and Review Department of IMF.[6]

careless? Unavoidable? Unintentional? DOUBTFUL!!!!!

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rocio

President Obama just lost my trust.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 10:49PM
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kudzu9

Yes, it's troubling, but the guy is obviously well-qualified. Let the person who's never made a mistake on his taxes cast the first stone. I'm personally tired of the politics of nit-picking, as a diversion from focusing on the major challenges we need to address. If this was the biggest problem that any of Bush's questionable and compromised appointees ever faced, it would have been a blessing to our country. And rocio, if this is all it took to lose faith in Obama, you'll never find someone you can believe in.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 1:04AM
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punamytsike

To put a person in charge of IRS, who after finding out about the mistake did not fix it until he was offered a job in the cabinet and this unpaid bill came a political problem?

It is really hard for me to believe that there is only one qualified person at this moment in time in USA. If this is really the case then we truly are scr***. I am sure there are people who have not blatantly avoided their taxes who are as qualified and quit likely even more qualified. At the moment it looks like tho that he will get the job :-/

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 7:27AM
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azmom

If this caused someone losing trust in Obama, it surely is a shock that one had survived through 8 years of Bush.

Yes, let us keep on looking, squabbling, nit-picking, fighting for party and personal interest but in the name of "for people", and turning any molehill into a bigger and bigger mountain. In the meantime, we can care less of these millions people who are losing jobs and homes.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:19AM
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qdognj

Like the Treasury Secretary, I intend to use Turbo Tax and derive the maximum write-off not allowable by law...

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:24AM
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punamytsike

We already have "If I did I don't remember" as valid legal defense for anything we do, now we can also refrain from paying taxes, at least until we want to run for office, LOL

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:42AM
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chisue

Well, there may be something in his favor: He's a cheapskate. Whether that's only *personally* or if it will carry on into how he does the government's business remains a question.

He couldn't hire an accountant to do his taxes?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 11:56AM
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duluthinbloomz4

The first step is to close the Sleep Over Camp loophole!

Geithner will be confirmed and maybe, just maybe, we'll start to get a handle on the economy. Once the good times are rolling again, everyone forgets gaffs, flaws, evasions, even outright trickery and fraud.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 11:57AM
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jlhug

I still don't buy the "I'm sorry. I forgot" excuse. If the man is as smart as everyone says he is, then he didn't forget. He knew what he was doing and just hoped he wouldn't get caught.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 7:27AM
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jkom51

>>He knew what he was doing and just hoped he wouldn't get caught.And this is different from what we have endured under the last 8 years with Bush, exactly how?

I'd trust someone who cheated on their taxes more than I'd trust someone who deliberately undermines the Constitution.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 4:51PM
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quasifish

In a word- no.

This has nothing to do with the Bush administration. This is suppose to be about change- a new dawn. Problem is that until Americans see a cabinet in power that displays integrity on all levels, faith and trust won't be restored. This looks a little too much like "do as I say, not as I do."

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 10:40AM
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jannie

This belongs in Hot Topics. Read no further.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 10:02AM
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qdognj

Could ALSO belong in "hot topics" forum, but since he will impact the financial markets,and in turn every single taxpayer,it certainly is appropriate in the "household finance" forum

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 11:06AM
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terri23

Absolutely not! I've been preparing income taxes for 18 years and have never had a client get a letter from the IRS and innocently overlook it. And I've never seen the IRS not continue to pursue it, almost to the point of stalking. I don't buy that he forgot to follow-up on this and pay what was due. Bottom-line: it's no innocent mistake and it's not the smartest thing to look the other way and put a tax cheat in charge of the IRS. For someone promoting change and a "can-do" philosophy, certainly Obama "can" find someone with some morals to appoint. Why start out with a questionable pick?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 12:08AM
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mustangs81

Tom Daschle is Obama's choice for health secretary and he has not paid more than $128,000 in back taxes over the past several years. Perhaps this is the strategy Obama is using to get tax cheats to pay up.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 4:03PM
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hapyfrustrated

There are many qualified people in this country to do the job Timothy Geitner is nominated for.

There are also many people who are honest and pay their taxes, never intentionally making a mistake when filing. My H and I are included. We work hard, and pay what we owe. If it's good enough for us, it's good enough for everyone.

People who want high profile jobs in the government, need to bother paying their taxes, as they expect us to pay ours.

Tim Geitner is not the person for this job, he doesn't handle his own money honestly, I don't want him governing ours, and when I say "ours" I include all Americans.

This has nothing to do with the former administration, let's get into the present day, I am looking at the "change" we were all promised and seeing something that should have everyone shaking in their boots.

I vote NO on this man, let's find someone who pays their taxes and does not cheat the rest of us. It can be done.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 10:30AM
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terri23

Maybe this is an economic stimulus package we can all get behind. Keep nominating tax cheats and collect money to put back into the economy.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 2:04AM
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