Archive for Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sebelius says she corrected tax returns to fix ‘minor’ error

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' confirmation hearing to become head of the Health and Human Services Department on Tuesday was dominated by talk of health care reform.

March 31, 2009, 4:52 p.m. Updated March 31, 2009, 5:00 p.m.

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Sebelius, in confirmation hearings, says healthcare reform is her 'mission'

Confirmation hearings for Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius are underway in Washington. Enlarge video

Kathleen Sebelius: Two decades in politics

Kathleen Sebelius is the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services in Obama's Cabinet. She has served as Kansas' governor since 2002 and before that was insurance commissioner and a state representative.

— Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius recently corrected three years of tax returns and paid more than $7,000 in back taxes after finding “unintentional errors” — the latest tax troubles for an Obama administration nominee.

The Kansas governor explained the changes to senators in a letter dated Tuesday that the administration released. She said they involved charitable contributions, the sale of a home and business expenses.

Sebelius said she filed the amended returns as soon as the errors were discovered by an accountant she hired to scrub her taxes in preparation for her confirmation hearings. She and her husband, Gary, a federal magistrate judge in Kansas, paid a total of $7,040 in back taxes and $878 in interest to amend returns from 2005-2007.

Several Obama administration nominees have run into tax troubles, notably the president’s first nominee for HHS secretary, former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle. He withdrew from consideration while apologizing for failing to pay $140,000 in taxes and interest.

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., quickly issued a statement supporting Sebelius.

“Congress is going to need a strong partner at the Department of Health and Human Services to achieve comprehensive health reform this year, and we have that partner in Governor Sebelius,” Baucus said. “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Governor Sebelius has the political experience, determination, and bipartisan work ethic to get the job done with Congress this year. She’s the right person for the job.”

Comments

Kyle Reed 6 years, 4 months ago

Bwahahahahaha!!! The hits just keep on comin!

local_support 6 years, 4 months ago

With the last administration shady dealings were a qualification for everything.

TheOriginalCA 6 years, 4 months ago

being a lying cheating sleeze must be a prerequesite to be allowed on the administration of da man from Crook County

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 4 months ago

We have been talking about tax reform and have not done anything about it.

I think it was Brownback who said no one can figure out the tax code anymore.

We need to make paying taxes a lot more simple. I think that is very obvious.

There would be fewer tax loopholes if it were a more simple system. It is becoming too much of a joke when the people who write the tax code cannot even figure it out.

ENGWOOD 6 years, 4 months ago

Probably a lot of politicians just holding their breath both Democrat and Republican, I don't hear a lot of comment from either.

KS 6 years, 4 months ago

Queen Kathy, the tax cheat. So what else is new in the BHO Adminstration? What a deal. And he wants us to follow him?

LiberalDude 6 years, 4 months ago

Agreed jayhawklawrence.

I wonder how all these idiots on here who criticize every little tax error of the people up for nomination would like to have their taxes audited and scrutinized? I guarantee that many of them made mistakes on their taxes.

jmadison 6 years, 4 months ago

Don't tax me, don't tax thee, tax the guy behind the tree.

budwhysir 6 years, 4 months ago

I unintentianaly read this article, as a reader, I retract any future coments and appologize to anyone who might have caught me.

ENGWOOD 6 years, 4 months ago

DON'T TAX ME BRO !! DON'T TAX ME BRO !!

lwctown 6 years, 4 months ago

Who cares....Midwestern folks now get a loud voice in a very high position....... Nobody is perfect. George Bush did coke and got a dui....did that stop him from being president for 8 eight years and messing everything up..ok bad example.

yankeevet 6 years, 4 months ago

WASHINGTON – Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius recently corrected three years of tax returns and paid more than $7,000 in back taxes after finding "unintentional errors" — the latest tax troubles for an Obama administration nominee. The Kansas governor explained the changes to senators in a letter dated Tuesday that the administration released. She said they involved charitable contributions, the sale of a home and business expenses.

Sebelius said she filed the amended returns as soon as the errors were discovered by an accountant she hired to scrub her taxes in preparation for her confirmation hearings. She and her husband, Gary, a federal magistrate judge in Kansas, paid a total of $7,040 in back taxes and $878 in interest to amend returns from 2005-2007.

yankeelady 6 years, 4 months ago

It shows the tax codes need to be simplified. None of these people are doing their own taxes. 3 different accountants will come up with 3 different interpretations and figures. I like Steve Forbes flat tax idea a few years back. 10-15% across the board, all withheld from your paychecks. No forms, no IRS, no exceptions or deductions. Most people would come out ahead and it would simplify the whole process. Of course it would increase unemployment---all the IRS folks would be out of a job, not to mention tax preparers.

RobertMarble 6 years, 4 months ago

corruption seems to be a comman factor with a lot of hussein obama supporters.

TacoBob 6 years, 4 months ago

OK, tax codes are too complicated. Is anyone going to do anything about it? Has Obama put this on his agenda anywhere, at least during the campaign? The kitchen sink is in there somewhere, why not address this mangled mess?

As far as one more of your/my employees (that's what they really are, since you and I pay their salaries) screwing up their taxes, riddle me this - they ALL use some kind of tax service/accountant to file - so how is this happening ALL the time? Are these services skirting the law, seeing what they can get away with, or are their clients (Sebelius, et al) fudging on the numbers and explanations?

Perhaps every politician should do a self-initiated audit since this seems to be such a common issue these days.

And the government should feel free to audit me - my numbers will hold up under the same scrutiny as these appointees get. And so will millions of others like me. People who pay their fair share honestly. Not so hard to do.

1957 6 years, 4 months ago

"I wonder how all these idiots on here who criticize every little tax error of the people up for nomination would like to have their taxes audited and scrutinized? I guarantee that many of them made mistakes on their taxes."

"Mistakes", right, she and her husband have access to the best counsel possible, "mistakes", ha ha ha ha ha.

And I wish I made enough money that I could call owing $ 7,918.00 in unpaid taxes "little".

Give it a rest.

jmadison 6 years, 4 months ago

Now I understand Pres Obama's plan to cut the deficit in half---just keep nominating people to his cabinet that have to cough up the taxes they haven't paid. What a shrewd politician.

jumpin_catfish 6 years, 4 months ago

Still hopin' for change Mr. Obama!? How big of a deal would it have been this many of Bush's nominations were tax cheats, oh I mean tax return accuracy challenged.

tunahelper 6 years, 4 months ago

sebelius = typical leftist libtard hypocritical elite. what a frackin rocket scientist.

budwhysir 6 years, 4 months ago

Sure hope the car industry does not turn out like the tax collection industry. Seems to be a little problem on the upper end there

Godot 6 years, 4 months ago

Kathy the Tax Cheat Sebelius will work hand-in-hand with Timothy the Tax Cheat Geithner to completely overhaul our society to fit the vision of our Precious Leader, Obama. So elite. So, so "right." So completely wrong. Brownback, Roberts and Jenkins had better vote nay on her confirmation.

Danimal 6 years, 4 months ago

Seriously? Has any Democrat paid taxes in the last decade?

Kryptenx 6 years, 4 months ago

Silly 'tards, taxes are for Republicans!

BigPrune 6 years, 4 months ago

Taken from the Bill Clinton playbook:

Anyone caught criticizing the President, Cabinet officials, Congressional partisans of the President, or the IRS tax code will be subject to an audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

Signed, Barak Hussein Obama Presidente' of the United States of Amerika

not_dolph 6 years, 4 months ago

Uh...Godot? Last time I checked, the House does not vote on the confirmation of cabinet secretaries.

igby 6 years, 4 months ago

This behich and her KDR gastapo came after me on and for 5 years tax returns for a losuy $309.00 in late filing fees back in 2003. They claimed the returns did not get there until the 17th but were mailed on the 15th. So I owed for being one day late on all five returns.

Kick her a$$ out!

She's a scum bag liberal thief!

Kryptenx 6 years, 4 months ago

Keep the comments flowing guys, this is the best display of horrible spelling, bad grammar, and outright stupidity I have seen all week!

budwhysir 6 years, 4 months ago

I was going to run for the school board, but I wasnt sure how good my accountant was. I see it doesnt matter all you do is call a do over and its all better. Kids, dont try this at home

bearded_gnome 6 years, 4 months ago

Godot, only the Senate votes on cabinet nominees.

yes, Brownback shouldn't have been supporting her in the first place.

wow, if 1/7 of this were owed by Rush Limbaugh, or Hannity, you think the libs above would be so forgiving? you think they'd be talking, "oh gee we gotta reform the tax code ..." etc. not just no, but he|| no!

I'm surprised her abortion money corruption hasn't been brought up yet nationally, probably will be though. that is, if this doesn't sink her nomination.

which brings me to the saddest part of this article's news: if true, Governor Billious hasn't resigned her billiousship yet, and if this sinks her nomination, we're still stuck with her in Cedarcrest!

oh, but she'll just invite Tiller the killer over for another party to salve her woes.

danemary 6 years, 4 months ago

Sabelius admits to tax CHEATING, Omaama gets a bonus--she is also a BABY MURDERER!

KLATTU 6 years, 4 months ago

Yep, it turns out the Dems are just as bad as the Republicans who made this mess. If only the ignorant American masses would wake up and realize it's not red vs. blue; it's us against them.

As long as Americans on one side or the other continue to ignore the crimes committed by their party, and only concern themselves with the crimes by the other guys we'll never clean up this mess.

Behind closed doors Olberman and Limbaugh, and Pelosi and Boehner, are laughing all the way to the bank because they know they can count on Americans to continue to be fooled.

compmd 6 years, 4 months ago

Just thought I'd point out that the photo on the homepage right now looks like Bob Dole and Pat Roberts are totally staring at Kathleen's boobs.

yankeevet 6 years, 4 months ago

KLATTU..............you are so correct in your statment.........................for sure.........

lori 6 years, 4 months ago

compmd, I was thinking the same thing! They're either checking her out or they really like her watch.

Either way, I thought I was looking at Lawrence.com's O caption my caption blog for a moment.

M. Lindeman 6 years, 4 months ago

Multidisciplinary (Anonymous) says…

Curious. If the negative comment makers were given change for a $20 instead of a $10, would they go back to the store and return it? How about if they see on their receipt that they were not charged for an item they bought? Would they go back to the store and pay for it, or just keep it saying it's the store's error. ?

rdragon writes

The answer to your question, is yes. I have done that several times. I don't want what isn't mine or due me.

Sharon Aikins 6 years, 4 months ago

I talked to an accountant, my former broker, my annuity company twice and five people at the IRS about a question on my return. I used TurboTax and they said I had an error that I couldn't figure out. After about a week, I finally got an answer. TurboTax was trying to tell me that I needed to fill out information from a form 1099-R. I didn't have one. The IRS finally told me to go ahead and fill it out and attach a note stating why I didn't have it. Turns out I didn't need it because it was a non-taxable distribution from an unqualified annuity (which the IRS did tell me). The money was principal and had already been taxed. Therefore, it wasn't reported as taxable income.

While I found it funny that even the IRS couldn't answer my question, passed me around from one person to the next or gave me another number to call until finally I was given the one I started out with and gave up. In spite of this, all the people I talked to made an honest effort to help me and there was no charge. TurboTax charges $30 for a twenty minute phone call with an expert but didn't cover the problem I had so I passed. A local tax preparer was finally able to explain it to me.

Multi, yes, I do give back extra change. And when I noticed a $196 charge missing from a bill, I called and told them. They didn't even know it wasn't on there. But I used their product and I felt better being honest about it. I see I'm not alone on that one.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 4 months ago

In the photo, Bob's eyes seem to be wandering to the Governor's chest. Must be the Viagra.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 4 months ago

On second glance, Pat;s eyes seem to be focused on the bits of the Governor as well. Bob's delight is more evident than Pat's however.

tir 6 years, 4 months ago

I expect that a lot of politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, probably have some of these "errors" in their tax returns. Maybe the answer to the problem would be for everyone who is elected to public office to have their tax returns audited every year, preferably by some independent consumer watchdog agency, to hold them accountable to the people they serve. That might even discourage some crooks from running for office, too.

Unfortunately, that is unlikely happen, because our elected officials would never introduce such legislation, let alone pass it.

Poon 6 years, 4 months ago

Sebelius and taxes.

Yet another problem for which we can blame someone from Topeka.

Melinda Black 6 years, 4 months ago

Sebelius isn't trying to evade taxes folks. $7,000 off on two years worth of returns is pretty minor, given her family's income. This isn't even in the same league as Daschle.

Minor mistakes happen all the time on taxes. It is an inexact science to be sure, not helped by a tax code that changes continuously. Most errors are a matter of interpretation.

If taxes were easy, I wouldn't have to pay an accountant every year to decipher our overly complex tax code for me. Even then, accountants are human and make errors. I certainly can't afford a second accountant to check the work of the first like Ms. Sebelius, but then again, every aspect my life isn't being examined under the microscope. Who knows how any of us would fair in the that situation..

feeble 6 years, 4 months ago

TacoBob (Anonymous) says… OK, tax codes are too complicated. Is anyone going to do anything about it? Has Obama put this on his agenda anywhere, at least during the campaign? The kitchen sink is in there somewhere, why not address this mangled mess? ========================= yeah, Obama has already tasked Paul Volcker with overhauling the tax code. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aXOOjpVKkFPY&refer=home

Also, regarding an earlier comment by Mr.Shewmon, if your family, assuming you file jointly, earned more than $250,000 in taxable income this year, I have no sympathy for you getting hit by the AMT.

Janet Lowther 6 years, 4 months ago

I have to agree with YankeeLady: The tax code is way, WAY too complicated.

If the tax preparer employed by a Governor & Federal Magistrate can't figure 'em out, then. . .

Steve Forbes' flat tax works pretty well for wage earners, but what about businesses? Or even worse, sole proprietors who report their business income with their personal taxes. So I sell a car for $5,000, that I paid $4,000 for, what do I pay tax on? $5,000? $1,000? $1,000 minus the rent on the garage, the polish I put on it, and the ad in the newspaper to sell it?

Regardless of all else the tax code has long since expanded beyond the point where anyone can be reasonably expected to understand it, never mind obey it!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

If Kathy has to withdraw, does she get her pay-to-play money back?

Alia Ahmed 6 years, 4 months ago

After the Daschle tax problems, Politico asked all the seating Senators to answer five questions about their taxes. Most of the failed or refused to answer, most of the others referred Politico to the annual disclosure forms that senators must complete each year. However, the disclosure forms don't ask if they've ever made a mistake in their favor on their taxes. Here are the five questions and the link to the article.

  1. Do you prepare your own taxes?
  2. If not, who does?
  3. Have you or the IRS ever discovered an error on a tax return you've filed? .
  4. Have you ever paid back taxes?
  5. If the answer to either 3 or 4 is yes, please explain.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/18512.html

http://ethics.senate.gov/downloads/pdffiles/cover1.pdf

I'm not sure any of them are in a position to talk about a $8000 tax mistake spread over three years. If Gov. Sebelius owed it, then she should pay it and any penaties and interest. It sounds like she has. Unless all of us have been audited each and every year by numerous CPA's and the IRS, we probably can't assert with total confidence that there are no errors on our tax returns.

OzChicklet 6 years, 4 months ago

oneeye_wilbur (Anonymous) says…

It's great to live in Eudora. We don't even make $7,000 a year here. Sure glad you fools in Lawrence support Sebelius. We like the old days and live like we are still in Arkansas. Can't wait for the new Casino to open and the new highway out of Eudora north. Be spending our SSI checks in Leavenworth county.


You seem to like Arkansas so much, why don't you move back there and bitch?

I'm sick of all the Republicans slamming the Democrats, and vice-versa. Paying taxes is for everyone whether we like it or not. All public servants should be audited. All negative, bigots should be double audited. Most all you folks, need to use the provided spellchecker. You know, when a word has that little red dotted line under it in your comment? Just right click on it to correct it. Your post might sound more intelligent.

jmadison 6 years, 4 months ago

Some questions for Gov. Sebelius which are pertinent from a commentator on Taxprof blog: 1) What did you do with the 1099-C that you should have received from the Mortgage holder when the property was sold for less than the amount owed? This is a 'cancellation of debt' and is taxable income in the year it occurred -2006! 2) If the 1099-C wasn't issued and received - why not? 3) Which Bank/Mortgage company held the mortgage. 4) Which title company would issue a policy to a new owner if there was an outstanding valid lien on this property? None - therefore, any monthly payments being made by you would have had to be on a new "personal" loan to the former/same mortgage holder and do you really think we believe a real accountant would not know "personal loan" interest is not deductible?

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

Good thing McCain / Palin weren't elected. Following the election it was determined that Palin owed back taxes for trying to get away without paying taxes on the per diem payments she received while staying at home. Can you imagine a Vice President being forced to pay back taxes? I'm glad for the Republicans that they were spared the embarrassment. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/02/18/palin-told-to-pay-back-taxes/

Centerville 6 years, 4 months ago

May I remind all those Sibelieus apologists: She's the one who is hell-bent on collecting sales tax on internet sales. She's the one who tried to start taxing farm grain trucks at the same rate as 18-wheelers. She's the one who tried to disallow federal business tax cuts. She's the one who has proposed hundreds of millions in new taxes on a state that has a stagnant economy because of our dreadful tax structure. She's the one who made appointments to the Supreme Court, based upon campaign contributions, and ordered her judges to mandate budget-busting increases in school funding. She's the one who is a standing joke at Dillards for returning clothing and shoes after she has worn them. A tax-grubbing tax cheat. Nice.

Centerville 6 years, 4 months ago

And how could I forget: She's the one who threw a party at Cedar Crest for the staff of Tiller's abortion mill and paid for it out of the state general fund...and got away with it until someone started asking Accounts & Reports about it.

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