Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE and his wife appear to have underpaid their taxes in 2013 and 2014 because they improperly claimed the deduction for medical expenses, according to tax returns the former Texas congressman released on Monday.
In those two years, O’Rourke and his wife, Amy, reported a total of $15,718 in medical expense deductions. However, at the time, people under 65 could only take the deduction if their medical expenses exceeded 10 percent of their adjusted gross income, and the O’Rourkes’ expenses didn’t exceed that threshold.
On their 2013 and 2014 returns, boxes where taxpayers were supposed to have put down 10 percent of their adjusted gross income were left blank. A paid preparer whose name was redacted in the returns prepared the O’Rourkes’ taxes in those years.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the issue, noted that the error means that the O’Rourkes appeared to have underpaid their taxes by a total of more than $4,000 in those two years.
“After becoming aware of this error, the accounting firm that prepared the filings was immediately informed and will file an amendment as appropriate,” an O’Rourke aide told the Journal.
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The Hill has requested additional comment from the O’Rourke campaign.
Tony Nitti, a certified public account in Aspen, Colo., said on Twitter that there was a tax-preparation software that inaccurately defaulted to providing no floor for claiming the medical expense deduction unless a taxpayer’s birthday was entered into the program. Nitti said that he made the same mistake that the O’Rourkes’ accountant appears to have made on a tax return he prepared in 2013.
Richard has the details it, but here’s a brief thread on what went wrong with Beto’s 13/14 tax returns. Prior to 2013, medical expenses were only deductible to the extent they exceeded 7.5% of AGI. As a result, tax prep software defaulted to entering a 7.5% floor on Sch. A. (1/8) https://t.co/dDABxOYkMY
— Tony Nitti (@nittiaj) April 16, 2019
Outside of 2013 and 2014, Beto O’Rourke and his wife did not claim the medical expense deduction on the tax returns they released.
The former House lawmaker released his tax returns from 2008 to 2017 on Monday, one of several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who have made their tax returns public in recent days to contrast themselves with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE, who broke from years of precedent in 2016 by not releasing his returns.