Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sarah's Charity & Other Odds & Ends

My family has just broken the Yom Kippur fast. The Day of Atonement has ended. We wish everyone Muchos AƱos!

Now for some tax odds and ends:

(1) President Bush has signed H.R. 6893, which is now officially Public No: 110-351 [At this writing, the GPO has yet to put it into the United States Statutes at Large; give them a few days.] The popular name for the legislation is the "Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008."

Of interest to this ex-IRS attorney is Section 501 of the Act, which clarifies the Internal Revenue Code's definition of a child for dependency exemption purposes. In order to qualify as a dependent for income tax purposes, the child must be unmarried and younger than the person claiming the exemption. And if the person claiming the credit is not the child's parent, the claimant's adjusted gross income must exceed that of the child's parent or parents.

(2) On 15 September this Blog commented on the Presidential candidates' tax returns. Sarah Palin has released her tax returns for 2006 and 2007. The Tax History website has posted them (along with the other candidates, etc.). Sarah's stats (actually, Sarah and Todd's joint stats) are as follows:


$166,080 Adjusted Gross Income.
Cash donated to charity: $2,500 (1.5% of AGI).
Plus $825 non-cash goods donated to Salvation Army.

2006: $127,869 AGI.
Cash donated to charity: $4,250 (3.3% of AGI).
Plus $630 non-cash goods donated to Salvation Army.

My comments:

1. Sarah is sort of in the range of where Barack Hussein Obama was in 2003 and 2004, before he became a national messianic idol. Her AGI is approximately half of Biden's, but her charitable giving (disregarding the Salvation Army rummage donation) is than twice in percentage, and, at worst, more than fivefold in dollars. Like the other candidates, she is well below McCain.
2. Sarah's decrease in charitable dollars from 2006 to 2007, despite a significant increase in AGI, is not entirely comforting. There may well be reasons; it may well be a temporary thing. I don't know because there are only 2 years of tax returns to go with. But if she has any class whatsoever, there will be an increase come 31 December 2008.

3. Sarah's philanthropic exploits are really nothing to write home about, and I am somewhat disappointed in her. There are many people whose household income is far less than hers, but who give more. Now that Sarah strives for a position of national leadership, should start leading by example.

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