February 18th, 2009
06:40 PM ET
12 years ago

Palin told to pay back taxes

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/06/art.getty.palin.jpg caption="Palin received per diem payments even though she was staying in her own home."](CNN) - Alaska officials have told Gov. Sarah Palin she must pay back taxes on the thousands of dollars she received in state per diem funds while living at her home in Wasilla.

The Washington Post first reported last September that Palin had billed the state for nearly $17,000 worth of meals and other living expenses while staying in her own home during the first 19 months of her administration, even though the official governor’s residence is in Juneau.

The news clouded Palin’s self-styled image as a small government reformer, just weeks after she was tapped as John McCain’s running mate. At the time, Palin’s office said the governor was entitled to the payments.

Alaska administration commissioner Annette Kreitzner told the Anchorage Daily News on Tuesday that the governor’s office had asked the office to review the tax treatment of the per diem payments after questions about the funds were raised.

Kreitzner told the paper that following the review, the per diem payments will be treated as income and that a revised W-2 statement will be sent to the governor.

Palin’s office would not say how much she owes in back taxes, or if she would continue to receive the payments.

UPDATE: Palin spokesman Bill McAllister tells CNN that Palin "will abide by all IRS regulations and rulings and will pay what she owes. That number, though, is not a matter of public record."

Post updated 3:02 p.m. EST

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (440 Responses)
  1. fearful for my country

    Omg. The dem's all owe back taxes so they have to keep looking for someone else to point the finger at. Levae Sara alone you crooks.

    February 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. obama-mama

    I bet if we audit the entire senate and congress nobody paid their taxes.....

    February 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. former CA resident

    How about we lower the rhetoric folks? Facts are Palin lived in her home rather than Juneau (300 or more miles away) for a part of the time as governor; she received per diem – same as if she had been living in an apt in Juneau while governor's residence was closed for fixup; these monies were not included as taxable on her W-2. She filed returns based on what was on W-2. When questions were raised about tax treatment of the per diem, she asked the RESPONSIBLE Alaska governmental authority to evaluate and make a ruling/recommendation. The recommendation has come in that it was taxable and that the W-2 she was given was in error; the result is she is paying the taxes based on the revised W-2. End of story. Instead of trying to bash someone for sport, why don't we stick to the simple facts of the matter?

    February 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Polar Bears Against Palen

    A tax cheat on top of all of her other flaws. You suck Caribou Barbie! Right-wingers, where is your outrage?

    February 18, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. llim

    Vet all the government officers esp. the governors.
    Looks like many high income earners pay less taxes.
    Yeah... "Paying taxes isn't patriotic." So, is she patriotic?

    February 18, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. ConsiderThis, FL

    This behavior typifies the reason that most people run for public office – so that the public takes care of them now and for the rest of their theivery lives. I am so sick of "officials" not abiding by the rules that they make for everyone else to abide by. THROW THE BUMS OUT!

    February 18, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. Dave V

    What a great job! Get paid to stay at home and surf the net and help out with a baby or two. In between, you look at CNN or Fox and devise ways to stay in the news, good or bad.

    Any publicity is good publicity. Gee, they tax your unemployment insurance money, but you didn't think you owed any on that per diem stuff? You gotta be kidding me....

    February 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. Paul

    Good god almighty you CNN people are stupid. Read it again, this is not a failure on Palin's part it's a mistake on the part of the state ... that's why they're issuing a revised W2 form.

    The original complaint was that she wasn't entitled to the payments in the first place and the determination was that she WAS but that there should have been taxes withheld by state as it was income.

    It was Sarah Palin herself who as asked for the review...

    "the governor’s office had asked the office to review the tax treatment of the per diem payments after questions about the funds were raised."

    Sarah Palin paid her taxes but as an employee of the State of Alaska they failed to properly classify the per diems and withhold accordingly.

    It's no wonder you dopes voted for the commie, you're a bunch of illiterates with no reading comprehension skills.

    February 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. JC

    HAHAHA... It never ends with this woman.

    February 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Pamalah, Forest Knolls, CA

    "Where's Sarah"? That was the button some Alaska State legislators were wearing prior to her VP nomination. The media treated her with kid gloves. The dems should have worn that button also.

    When she comes back in 2012, she's going to be all bluster again.

    February 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Bankrupt in Tx

    Sounds like the Holier-than-Thou Tax Dodger is getting a good deal from the taxpayers. But of course it is only "public" service. And of course Faux News will not cover this at all.

    February 18, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    Where's all the GOPer hate for tax cheats on this page? How come the usual suspects are so suspiciously absent from the commentary section here? Hmmmmmm?


    February 18, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Brian

    You people are ridiculous.... the employer was at fault here, for not reporting it on the W-2's as is required. Her tax returns were filed properly based upon the W-2's provided her by the State. Perhaps you guys should actually try READING the article, instead of erecting strawman after strawman.

    This has been hashed out repeatedly... all of her per diems were properly documented. The w-2's were not properly prepared. The governor requested the inquiry.

    All this shows is that Governor Palin is one of the few honest politicians remaining in America, from either side of the aisle. Unfortunately, by making sure she is compliant with the IRS, this thoroughly disqualifies her from accepting a position in President Obama's cabinet.

    February 18, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Gary

    Interesting article...everyone should have to pay taxes Republicans and Democrats. The interesting thing to me was that I was under the impression that Alaska didn't have a state income tax, but I guess I must be mistaken. Maybe Secretary of Treasurer Gietnar, Dashle, Charlie Rangel and Governor Palin can all hold one joint press conference and apologize together. Now that would be Bipartisan!

    February 18, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN


    February 18, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Nakita

    Sarah Palin didn't pay her taxes? I guess that means she is qualified for a position in Obama's administration.

    February 18, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    Another typical political hypocrite, so much for values in this family. Who would charge anybody for staying at home??? It takes a true money grubbing loser to act that way, is she Ted Steven's kid???

    February 18, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. LACE

    This is stupid in comparison to the back taxes owed by the democrats who are now in office and in charge of the treasury department and other federal sectors. Why even bother with this type of news on a tax on $17,000 when there may be some legitimate deductions after a tax attorney reviews it? . Palin is not a wealthy woman, but one targeted by the press and the democrats since apparently she is a threat to them. Thank God someone is standing up to the Obimbo and his cult of worshipers. This country is in big trouble! When the stimulus package is not enough because it is payoff money for the election and adds to the democratic control and when they keeping asking for more money and your dollar declines in value... when you are part of the so called great medical plan and cannot get to the specialist you need to help you or you are judged too old to have the procedure, when the illegal immigrants swamp the system like they are in California and other cities...maybe the people will wake up and educate themselves on what is really going on here. When the have nots equal the haves the scales will send this country sliding to socialism and total control of everything you do...that is big government for you and that is the CHANGE you bought into.

    February 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Mark

    She's still HOT!!!!

    February 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Patriot Guy

    The media will not rest until this woman (and her family) are totally and completely DESTROYED! This is what happens to politicians of REAL CHANGE! And we wonder why we only have low-life phonies like John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Hussein Obama in positions of power. It's because when genuine, sincere politicians DO come along, the "Washington machine" and the "media machine" puts their character and reputation through a MEAT GRINDER. This is why THERE WILL NEVER BE REAL CHANGE IN AMERICA.........not by conventional means anyway.

    (Anyone who believes that no one in D.C. had anything to do with this is NUTS! They want this woman OUT OF CONTENTION.)

    February 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. pc

    Palin should stay out of the news because it is never good. Her daughter should likewise just raise her child and keep her opinions to herself.

    February 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. Rupert Murdoch

    Palin is hot

    February 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Garrett

    Her per diem expense was paid because she commuted from her home to the capital, instead of living full time in the executive residence. As such she was entitled by state law to receive such a per diem living expense which would have to be included in any income tax filing. But from the article it sounds like this wasn't included on the governor's W-2 issued from her employer, in this case the state of Alaska. So it really is the fault of the state agency that manages her salary and tax status. Should she have caught the mistake, arguably, but I doubt many of the people raising their eyebrows at this are capable at tax accounting.

    February 18, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Ruleofthumb

    Bristol Palin is by far smarter than her own mother. She said just about the smartest thing I have ever heard a republican say other than Ron Paul saying Isreal is the most destructive lobbying force on the American government. For her realization that abstinence only is complete religious nonsense she should run for president in 2012 shes hot shes milf shes everything America needs.

    February 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. Chuck Livingston


    A "real " American ...


    February 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18