Those Pesky Tax Laws

It turns out it’s not only Obama’s political appointments who suffer from misunderstanding that tax laws apply to everyone. While researching figures for my blog post on charitable deductions, I came across this detail: the Obamas themselves filed an erroneous tax return for 2006, taking a charitable deduction for $13,000 contributed to the Congressional Black Caucus. As The New York Times noted,
it is illegal to deduct political contributions as charitable contributions

Yet apart from this line, at the very end of the Times story, I haven’t seen any coverage of the Obamas’ filing an illegal tax return.

If rich, smart people like Treasury Secretary Geithner, Tom Daschle, and the Obamas don’t have to comply with tax laws until they want a high-profile government job, can those of us who don’t want such jobs ignore them too?

Mary L. G. Theroux is Chairman and Chief Executive of the Independent Institute.
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