Palins Release Tax Returns

This afternoon's news dump includes the 2006 and 2007 tax returns of Sarah and Todd Palin, summarized on the McCain campaign website with links to copies of the returns.

For 2006, the Palins paid $11,944 (LINE 63) in total taxes on gross income of $127,869 (LINE 37), which is a 9.3% tax rate. For 2007, the Palins paid $24,738 (LINE 63) in total taxes on gross income of $166,080 (LINE 37), which is a 14.9% tax rate. ...

In 2007, Sarah and Todd Palin donated $2,500 to charity in cash/check donations and $825 in non-cash/check donations, for a total of $3,325. This is 1.5% of their adjusted gross income.

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    Yech.... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by desertswine on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 04:53:15 PM EST
    You make me clik on the McCain/Palin Website. Now I have to burn my clothes and take a shower. How about a little warning please?

    Tithes (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by Jade Jordan on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 06:58:06 PM EST
    Where are her 10% Tithes to the church?  They would be under charitable contributions.

    Surely such a super Christian would comply with the biblical requirement to Tithe.

    Maybe she tithed her per diem? (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 09:17:42 PM EST
    Palins gave plenty to charity. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by rennies on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 09:51:32 AM EST

    Palin, the running mate of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and her husband Todd reported meager earnings from 2006 and 2007, at least by presidential-politics standards.

    In 2006, the Palins paid $11,944 in taxes on $127,869 in income. In 2007, they paid $24,738 on $166,080.
    But in 2006, they donated $4,880 to charity, and in 2007, they donated $3,325.

    By contrast, Biden (D-Del.), Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's running mate, has donated a total of $3,690 since 1998 despite his higher Senate salary


    It is strange (none / 0) (#7)
    by Pol C on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 07:51:31 PM EST
    I'm not big on judging how people live their lives, but it seems that someone as religious as Sarah Palin claims to be would treat the tithing as a higher priority than a personal tanning bed.

    What church do they belong to? (none / 0) (#9)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 08:27:17 PM EST
    I thought only Mormons did the tithing thing now.  I belong to a rather mainstream protestant church and there is no tithing.

    Most Christian demoninations tithe. (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by indy in sc on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 08:54:13 PM EST
    Some emphasize it more than others.  Even within the same denomination, certain churches push it more than others.  My mother is protestant and her (very mainstream) church tithes.  Definitely evangelicals tithe (or are supposed to). I'm Catholic and we tithe at my church although they rarely mention it and I'd be surprised if more than 10% of the families that belong to my church actually do the full 10% thing.  The Catholic church I used to attend also tithed, but emphasized it much more than the church I now attend.    

    You know that basket that gets passed around? (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 09:10:07 PM EST
    You're supposed to put money in.

    Assembly of God Church in Wasilla (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jade Jordan on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 07:50:23 AM EST
    Not only are you required to tithe you are expected to give money over and above tithes for special offerings.

    Mega Churches require you to submit a W2 at the end of each year to make sure you haven't shorted them on your tithes.

    Palin feels like Bush that the rules are for everyone else.  She is so special she gets to do what she wants to do.


    I do not believe. . . (none / 0) (#19)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 07:56:17 AM EST
    that the Palins were members of the Assemblies of God during the time period covered by these returns.

    I've never heard her say (none / 0) (#25)
    by MoveThatBus on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 09:53:53 PM EST
    anything about her attendance at church or solid commitment to one particular religious belief. I was thinking that making her out to be a big church-going religious fanatic was just to pull in the evangelicals.

    Politicalwire.com (none / 0) (#2)
    by magster on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 05:18:07 PM EST
    says she didn't report her per diem as income, which may be a problem.

    Per Diem Was Taxable Income (none / 0) (#3)
    by Peter G on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 05:58:53 PM EST
    ... according to experts at "Reality Based Community."  The national average for charitable giving at that income level around 3%, not 1.5%, but according to "Tax Prof Blog" she's right at the average (must be a difference of methodology).  Definitely not tithing, though.  Obama gave twice as much to charity as Palin, proportionately, on his much higher taxable income level, while Biden gave a lot less (under 1/2 of 1%).  (McCain, who is filthy rich, and must get a lot of tax breaks since his AGI is only around $350,000, gave an extremely generous 28% to charity.)  The Palin tax returns, to my surprise, tend to vindicate her claim to being "middle class."

    You (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 06:07:00 PM EST
    missed reporting on Biden Charitable donations.

    You amuse me. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 08:32:19 PM EST
    And I mean that in the most condescending way.

    Not so (none / 0) (#8)
    by Peter G on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 08:08:25 PM EST
    (if that comment was directed at me) -- read my comment again.  I specifically said Biden was exceptionally low on charitables.

    Isn't 9.3% an awfully low rate (none / 0) (#5)
    by litigatormom on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 06:17:20 PM EST
    for an income of over $125k? I'm assuming these are just federal taxes, since there is not Alaska state income tax, but still, that seems awfully low.

    Especially since it doesn't include as income all those reimbursements for meals at home and family travel.


    Not low considering (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by coast on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 09:36:18 PM EST
    the fact they have four children.  Remove the exemption for the children and it would increase their taxable income by more than $12000.  As a CPA I'm more concerned about the fact that a governor is having their taxes prepared by HR Block.  Which could be a good defense if the per diem issue arises.

    Who analyzed the returns and (none / 0) (#26)
    by MoveThatBus on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 09:59:50 PM EST
    determined the per diem wasn't there? Considering, of course, the per diem could be off-set quickly by the expenses they paid, couldn't it be a wash?

    I've been so closely associated with processing expense reports for executives for so long, I can't imagine how many people will be terrified the IRS is coming to get them on this topic.

    It does amaze me that almost every single politician is accused of some illegal maneuver on their tax returns the instant they are released.


    I think so. (none / 0) (#11)
    by coigue on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 08:34:25 PM EST
    IIRC, we paid about that and we made about 22K less and live in a state with taxes. Of course we only have two kids and rent...No tax breaks for small families and for renting.

    Obama has just recently found it in his (none / 0) (#16)
    by coast on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 09:55:40 PM EST
    heart and his wallet to give.

    2000 $2,350 or 1% of AGI
    2001 $1,470 or .5% of AGI
    2002 $1.050 or .4% of AGI
    2003 $3,400 or 1.4% of AGI
    2004 $2,500 or 1.2% of AGI
    2005 $77,315 or 4.7% of AGI


    WAIT A MINUTE (none / 0) (#17)
    by stevea66 on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 04:26:44 AM EST
    I made about a quarter of what they did last year and paid a much higher percentage!  What's up with that?  You see, this is where the true middle-class gets screwed.  And I gave $1,000 to charity last year.  I have got to figure out how to think like a greedy Republican - I'd have much more cash on hand at the end of the day.

    Regarding the children thing - I'm okay with getting some tax credit for kids, but wouldn't McCain say something like, "Hey.  You did it to yourself.  Pull yourself up by the bootstraps!  Or abstain from sex!"

    charity (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 09:44:06 AM EST
    you cannot always judge charitable donations on tax returns.  I spent 9456.00 last year buying groceries and clothes for my mother and her foster kids, and about 7500 this year.  I realize that is not a "charity" but it is giving so to speak.

    Who knows what Palin or Biden is doing for others in need and I tend to give the benefit of doubt there.....

    Living Expenses (none / 0) (#22)
    by grandmaj on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 09:56:03 AM EST
    The contribution comments are interesting, but I want to know where the per diem for living at home is shown on the return.  The state of Alaska may have a law that allows them to be paid, but under federal tax law they are taxable to her.  

    For detailed and knowledgeable analysis (none / 0) (#23)
    by Peter G on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 11:26:34 AM EST
    ... of the Palin tax return issues, go the "Tax Law Prof" blog.  In a very restrained and well-documented way, Prof. Caron raises some tough questions (including questions about the 4-page opinion letter from a tax lawyer [and former political appointee in the Reagan administration] supporting her failure to include the payments on her income return).  It is also interesting that even though she was Governor of the state, and clearly had some unique issues, she and her husband used H&R Block to prepare their returns rather than a licensed accountant.

    Wow... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Andy08 on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 06:21:31 PM EST
    those are really low earnings for presidential satandards: having 5 kids that's really missdle class.  

    TChris to be fair, you fail to report that in 2006 when they earned 127,869 they gave to charity $4,880.

    But I miss the point of your post. Biden has donated a total of $3,690 since 1998 despite his higher Senate salary.

    I would not open that door. It sheds a much worse light on the Dems. contenders. The only exception were Hillary & Bill Clinton who donated more than 10% of their income.