The Car Service That Undid Daschle
His deal for a free car and driver spelled the end today for Thomas A. Daschle's bid to become head of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Daschle withdrew his nomination after a furor erupted over the tax problems stemming from the car deal.
As detailed in the draft report from the U.S. Senate Finance Committee posted here, in April of 2005, Daschle was provided a car by Leo Hindery, a longtime friend who was managing partner of Englewood, Colo.-based InterMedia Partners. The charges were billed to InterMedia and the company did not give Daschle the appropriate tax form, Form 1099, for the car service for three years, from 2005 to 2007.
Then, in June 2008, Daschle said "something made him think that the car service might be taxable and disclosed the arrangement to his accountant."
Daschle estimated that he used the car about 80 percent of the time for personal use and the rest for business. By Jan. 2, he had filed amended tax returns. But the damage was done.
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