Will Clothes Cost Palin a Tax Cut?

[Republished from 2008Central.net]

Via Ben Smith, it is reported that Sarah Palin's wardrobe expenses count as income under the federal tax code. As someone currently taking Tax I, this seems pretty obvious.

Her Alaska salary is reportedly $81,648. Add in the $150,000 of clothes, and her income for the year would be $231,648.

Taking that over to Obama's tax calculator and ... she will probably not get a tax cut anymore; she would without the clothes, though. (I'll not that I have no idea what Todd Palin made in the past year, and do not particularly have an inclination to find out.) She would have lower taxes under Obama's plan just using her income as Governor. (Again, sans anything from Todd.)

Incidentally, I think this account of the need for the wardrobe is fair. But I'd still argue that these constitute income.

Tags: 2008 election, Barack Obama, clothes, Democratic Ticket, issues, Republican Ticket, Sarah Palin, Taxes, wardrobe (all tags)

Comments

3 Comments

You mean Bill Kristol's account.

Even if it wasn't the Weekly Standard you're quoting, the argument that only $4000 outfits would cut it in front of the camera is patently absurd.

by Sumo Vita 2008-10-22 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: You mean Bill Kristol's account.

Sumo, you have a point, but as a male in his mid twenties I feel very unqualified to comment on the amount of expenses. I just think some of the expenses were necessary, but will bite Palin in two specific ways: first, in the way Edwards got hit by his comparatively cheap hair cut. And second, that she may have to pay an exorbitant amount of taxes on these.

I think emphasizing her being out of touch only reinforces the culture wars that Democrats really don't want to fight.

Criticizing Palin on the grounds of faux populism may help win a battle (a battle that's probably already won), but it buys into the GOP's bigger picture outlook.

by 2008 Central 2008-10-22 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Clothes Cost Palin a Tax Cut?

If she keeps the clothes, they are a realized increase in net value, i.e., income. She cannot write off the expenses for the clothes - even if they are absolutely necessary for her job because the clothes are suitable for use outside of work.

There is a tax rule - known as the Cliff Claven rule - that says that expenses for clothing can only be deducted if clothing is unsuitable for wear outside your work, e.g., a mailman's uniform.

by bushsucks 2008-10-22 06:39PM | 0 recs

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