Obama trade nominee to pay $10,000 in back taxes | Politics | Reuters
Ron Kirk, the nominee for U.S. trade representative, has agreed to pay about $10,000 in owed taxes, becoming the latest top-level appointee in the Obama administration to face the embarrassment of dealing with an income tax problem.
Kirk, the former mayor of Dallas, has agreed to file amended income tax returns for three years and to pay the taxes, found during a review by the Senate Finance Committee that is weighing the nomination.
The problem involved "discrepancies about the appropriate place on the IRS Form 1040 for certain items of income and deductions to be reported," according to the report posted today on the committee's website.
A hearing on Kirk's nomination is scheduled for March 9.
In a statement posted on the website, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the committee chairman, said Kirk remained "the right person for this job and I will move his nomination quickly. I am confident he can successfully restore the confidence of Congress and the American people in a balanced international trade agenda."
According to the Finance Committee's report, Kirk turned over to Austin College honorariums he received for speaking engagements about 16 times without reporting the fees as income or deducting them as charitable donations. In all the fees totaled about $37,750, the committee said.
There also were questions about unreimbursed business expenses and about the value of some noncash charitable donations, according to the report.
The committee staff determined that the total adjustment for the three tax years, 2005-07, would be approximately $9,975, the majority of which was from the issue involving speaking fees.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner owed more than $30,000 in taxes that he paid before he took office. Former Sen. Tom Daschle, who owed more than $100,000 in taxes, was forced to withdraw as a nominee for Health and Human Services secretary. Nancy Killefer, President Obama's pick for chief performance officer, was forced to step aside after tax problems involving less than $1,000.
Nancy Killefer, Obama's choice to oversee budget and spending reform, also withdrew over tax issues.