It Had To Be Something
I was musing over the curious case of Ron Kirk last week and wondering why there's been no movement on his confirmation in well over two months. Turns out that, yes, there's a tax problem.
(WASHINGTON) Ron Kirk, nominated as U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama administration, owes an estimated $10,000 in back taxes from earlier in the decade and has agreed to make his payments, the Senate Finance Committee said Monday.
The committee said the taxes arise from Kirk's handling of speaking fees that he donated to his alma mater, and for his deduction of the full cost of season tickets to the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team.
So he donated speaking fees directly to Austin College instead of listing them as income and deducting them as a charitable donation. That saved him about $6,000. Then there are the Mavs tickets, which were deducted as a business expense, I'm guessing? He'll pay another $2,000 in tax.
I think we can take away two things from this - wealthy people underpay their taxes, and the tax code is extremely complex and bound to trip up almost everyone.