NPR logo Tax Problems Emerge For HHS Designate Daschle


Tax Problems Emerge For HHS Designate Daschle

The White House says "some tax issues" have emerged in connection with President Barack Obama's nomination of Tom Daschle as health secretary. But a spokesman says the president is confident the former Senate Democratic leader will receive Senate confirmation.

White House officials confirmed a broadcast report Friday that Daschle failed to pay taxes on a car-and-driver service provided to him for three years after he left government.

He later paid the taxes and interest for the error, which has delayed his confirmation to head the Health and Human Services Department.

ABC News first reported on the tax issue Friday evening, saying he owed more than $100,000. The Washington Post and The New York Times reported that Daschle had paid the back taxes.

The Post quoted Daschle spokeswoman Jenny Backus as saying that Daschle "naively" believed the car service was a "generous offer from a friend."

Daschle discovered last summer that the car service would be considered reportable income, the Post quoted Backus as saying.

White House spokesman Bill Burton confirmed details of the story but said Daschle's role in the new Obama administration was not in danger of being derailed.

From an Associated Press report with citations as noted from other news organizations.

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