Unbelievable: Obama's new HHS nominee has tax problems too

And by “unbelievable,” I of course mean inevitable. Remember, she was the “safe” choice for HHS after Daschle got dinged for — that’s right — not paying his taxes.

By CBS’s count, this is the sixth nominee to have tax trouble. Yes, really.

In the letter, which was sent to senators and dated today, Sebelius wrote that she had made changes related to charitable contributions, business expenses and the sale of a home, according to the AP.

The wire service reports that she and her husband paid just over $7,000 in back taxes, along with $878 in interest, for the years 2005-2007…

On the charitable contributions front, she writes that she could not locate three acknowledgment letters out of her 49 charitable contributions in excess of $250, and thus eliminated those three deductions.

She also writes that she had “insufficient documentation” for some of her tax dedications for business expenses, though because of the Alternative Minimum Tax they did not affect the amount owed. She also said she mistakenly paid off a home loan that included deductable mortgage interest.

The Standard has a copy of the letter, in which she claims not to have noticed the errors until she asked a CPA to vet her returns from 2005-07 as preparation for her Senate confirmation. Exit question: Why didn’t a CPA at least catch the error on mortgage interest when the returns were originally prepared? Or do we have another implausible case here, a la Geithner, of a public official — the governor of Kansas, in this case — using Turbo Tax or something to do her own returns? Don’t politicians use accountants anymore?

Update: No biggie, says Baucus.

“Congress is going to need a strong partner at the Department of Health and Human Services to achieve comprehensive health reform this year, and we have that partner in Gov. Sebelius,” Baucus said. “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Gov. Sebelius has the political experience, determination, and bipartisan work ethic to get the job done with Congress this year. She’s the right person for the job.”