A taxing question on Palin’s clothing allowance

October 22, 2008

Sarah Palin’s $150,000 clothing allowance from the Republican National Committee raises questions about whether John McCain’s vice presidential pick will have to pay federal income taxes for the items she bought with the money.  palin2.jpg

Maybe, according to one congressional tax expert.

The McCain campaign says the clothing, which according to Politico.com was purchased at stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks, will go to charity after the campaign.

If everything is handed over to charity once the last ballot is cast, Palin could argue that she never actually owned the clothes and that they were more like costumes or uniforms used for work, the tax expert said.

But anything she keeps would be considered a payment and its value could be taxed as income.

Generally clothing required for work that cannot also be used outside the workplace, such as a nurse’s uniform, is a deductible expense. Any clothing that can be used off the job as well as on the job cannot be deducted.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Steve Marcus (Palin at a rally in Henderson, Nevada Oct. 21)


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This allowance makes me wonder whether she is running for the vice-presidential spot or trying to win a beauty queen contest. It reminds me of a shirt of a McCain/Palin supporter that said, “Heroes and Hotties in 2008.” Now…why would that trump intellectual ability and steadfast calmness? I think that you know how I will vote tomorrow in the early election…

Posted by Blake | Report as abusive

Can you believe this hockey mom is just a heartbeat away from the presidentsy.I dont think she will give the $150ooo worth of clothes to charity after the 4/11/08 campain has finishes.It all goes to show what a renegade McCain is with his choice of VP

Posted by Tim Crellin | Report as abusive

Tim, it is ‘presidency’.

Posted by Jeremy | Report as abusive

My fiancée and I are convinced that Palin wears glasses with plain glass rather than corrective lenses, just look at the photos of her, no distortion at all!

Posted by Jeremy | Report as abusive