Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tim Geithner Blames Turbo Tax For His Tax Problem

From Michael McAuliff at theNYDaily News:

Let’s hope the economy is easier to figure out than TurboTax.

That’s the software that Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner used when he failed to pay about $34,000 in taxes, he admitted this morning in a confirmation hearing that was delayed because of his tax flubs.

“I used TurboTax to prepare my returns,” Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee, looking just a little embarrassed, and prompting laughs in the hearing room.

He wouldn’t blame the software for his errors, but he didn’t say it helped him spot them, either.

Asked if the program prompted him to report income and pay self-employment taxes on his work for the International Monetary Fund, he said, “Not to my recollection.”

Geithner is the departing New York Fed chairman who gets the most credit for crafting the opaque $700 billion bank bailout, and many think he’s the only one who understands it. Once confirmed, he’ll have the job of spending the $350 billion left in the fund.

And, oh yeah, he’ll head up the IRS.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)appreciated the honest answers, but seemed concerned.

“While I understand that the tax code is complex and sometimes even tax preparers get it wrong,” he said, “it would seem that minor due diligence on your part may have prevented the oversight.”

“It is deeply problematic if a U.S. citizen with your financial knowledge and expertise doesn’t consider whether he should be making a contribution to the Social Security Trust Fund,” Grassley said.


  1. Wow! You're kidding, right? This looks like it should be on The Onion website! This guy makes all that money but he's such a cheapskate that he won't hire someone to do his taxes? I mean, there are tax preparers set up inside of Wal-Mart out here. You can get your taxes done for around a hundred dollars. You know, if you're making so much money that you'd owe 34 grand at the end of the year, you can afford to have a real accountant prepare your taxes.

    Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with using TurboTax. It works just great for people with one or two simple income sources. However, if you're self-employed, it's a hell of a lot more complicated and you need to let the trained professionals look over it.

    I'm definitely not feeling very good about this guy becoming our next Treasury Secretary. If it was an accountant's error, then I might not worry too much about it. However, these details reveal a certain lack of good judgment that I don't think we can afford to overlook.

  2. Ugh, nosebone.

    Valerie, this is actually pretty hilarious - TurboTax hehe. Thanks for posting it :D

    Also, after Greenspan completely fucked up at the end? Considering that Paul Krugman won a Nobel Prize for economics? Considering McCain's WOEFUL lack of economic knowledge?

    I'm not hopeful about ANYONE in any position of power having a farking clue about the economy. Obama certainly doesn't - poor jugears doesn't even know how to fill out a form, much less fix an economy (grow it from the bottom up - LMAO). I'm going to be starting a series on the proper measures to restore an economy, but it's really not difficult at all. Reagan knew this, and accomplished it in mere months - had he not been hampered by a runaway leftist legislature it would still be going strong. Despite Clintoon and his inflated bubble. The measures require brief difficulty, but the kind of difficulty that precedes something awesome, like training for a sporting event. Unfortunately, the very simple principles are practically lost nowadays. And require a halfway educated, halfway *intelligent* populace - not one dumbed down by publik de-edukation. Sigh.

  3. This makes the case for tax simplification, also there's a hidden tax with regard to prep fees, accountants, litigation etc...