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Palin tax returns prompt questions

Oct. 6, 2008 at 9:41 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- The release of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's tax returns for 2006 and 2007 has prompted a round of questions among tax experts, The New York Times reported.

Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, released the returns Friday. Some tax attorneys are asking why Palin and her husband, Todd Palin, did not report as income the $43,490 that their family collected from the state of Alaska to pay for travel expenses for Todd Palin and the couple's children.

Several tax experts -- including Jack Bogdanski, a college tax professor and a former adviser to the Internal Revenue Service -- said it would be difficult to argue that the payments for the children's travel should not be reported as income.

Bryan Camp, a tax law professor at Texas Tech University School of Law, concluded the payments are taxable since the returns contain "no suggestion that either Todd or the kids are employed by the state of Alaska."

Bogdanski calculated that if the family had reported $24,728 in travel reimbursement for the children, the tax bill would come to about $6,000 -- plus interest applied after the April 15 filing deadline.

Tax experts said it was not possible to determine whether deductions for Todd Palin's snowmobiling racing business are legitimate because two years of tax returns do not provide sufficient information to determine that.

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