Carter introduces Geithner Penalty Waiver Act

This December, members of Congress find themselves grappling with what to do about expiring tax provisions (federal estate tax) as well as what to do about new taxes ("war" tax and health care surtax). In the midst of it all, Rep. John Carter (R-TX) has his own idea for consideration: the Geithner Penalty Waiver Act.

Rep. Carter's bill is officially known as H.R.4172 with the Title: To provide the same penalty rate for taxpayers who voluntarily disclose unreported income from offshore accounts as was afforded Timothy Geithner with respect to his failure to pay self-employment taxes with respect to his compensation from the International Monetary Fund. The unofficial title is the Geithner Penalty Waiver Act.

According to Rep. Carter, taxpayers who applied for the U.S. Treasury Department's amnesty plan for foreign income should pay the same penalty rate as that paid by the Treasury Secretary on his International Monetary Fund (IMF) back taxes. That penalty rate, in case you missed it, was zero.

Prior to his confirmation as Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner worked for the International Monetary Fund from 2001-2004, where he was classified as an independent contractor. Geithner failed to pay SE taxes (self-employment taxes, which are basically the FICA equivalent for an independent contractor or self-employed person) during that time.

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