Ilhan Omar To Repay Thousands Amid Controversy Over Personal Tax Returns

Critics accused Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-MN, of being flippant in describing the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. She later sought to defend herself by tweeting a quote from President George W. Bush, in which he referred to the attackers as "people" just days after the attacks. (Source: Kristie Boyd/U.S. House Office of Photography/MGN)
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Rep. Ilhan Omar finds herself at the center of controversy about her personal tax returns.

The Campaign Finance Board discovered she filed tax returns stating she was married to one man when, in fact, she was married to another. The revelation was a part of an investigation into allegations that Omar had misused campaign funds.

Omar agreed to repay $3,500 and pay a $500 dollar fine, but the controversy over her tax filings continues.

When it comes to the issue of filing joint married tax returns with one man while legally married to another, the only statement the Minnesota congresswoman has made is through a campaign spokesperson.

“All of Rep. Omar’s tax filings are fully compliant with all applicable tax law,” the spokesperson said.

Below is a timeline of Omar’s personal relationships as well as the Campaign Finance Board documents.

Early 2000s: Omar and Ahmed Hirsi had two children but never married
2009: Omar legally married another man, Ahmed Elmi
2011: Omar and Elmi obtained a faith-based divorce, but no legal divorce
2012: Omar reconciles with Hirsi and the couple had a third child
2014, 2015: Omar and Hirsi file joint married returns
2016: Omar’s attorney and accountants find “something needs to be corrected” in Omar’s filings
2017: Omar files for divorce from Elmi
2018: Omar legally marries Hirsi

Omar’s staff did not comment when asked if the correction needed in 2016 in Omar’s filings was her marital status.

Scott Kadrlik, a CPA who has no connection to Omar, says the IRS keeps every tax return open for three years and during that time accepts changes or corrections.

“There can be a whole host of reasons you would file an amended tax return – a correction to your tax return, incorrect filing status, claimed the wrong exemptions, didn’t report all of your income,” Kadrlik said.

He says, in part, the IRS would likely only take punitive action or file criminal charges if there was a large discrepancy in the amount of taxes the individual owed or if there was fraudulent intent.