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Election 2008

Palin's Tax Return Missing Travel Reimbursements

Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin didn't report thousands of dollars in state travel reimbursements that she collected while living at home last year, according to her tax return for 2007.

As governor of Alaska, Palin collected per diems for scores of nights spent in her own home and working at a state office in Anchorage rather her office in faraway Juneau, the state capitol. The patterns varied, but the state paid her, on average, $890 a month, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the payments.

Although Palin and her husband paid 20 percent of their income in taxes last year, the per diems don't appear on their 2007 tax return.

The McCain-Palin campaign, which released her 2006 and 2007 returns, said Palin was in compliance with state policies and the reimbursements weren't taxable income.

Critics insist the reimbursements are taxable income because the Anchorage office is just 45 miles away from her home. Under IRS rules, that could be considered just commuting.

Palin spent less time in the Juneau office, but didn't claim per diems when she was there.

The tax return also shows that the Palins didn't make the optional $3 contribution for presidential public financing, the fund that is financing the McCain-Palin campaign.

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