President Carter disclosed yesterday that a federal audit of his recent income tax returns has made him a winner. He said he owes $160 in extra taxes for one year but is due a refund of $5,000 or $6,000 for another.
"It is good news," Carter told a press conference when asked about fulfilling a campaign promise to make public his tax status on a year-by-year basis.
The president said word of the refund came from the Internal Revenue Service just a few hours earlier and that First Lady Rosalynn Carter "came over at lunch and told me about it."
Carter said he had delayed making public his 1977 tax return pending completion of the audit. He reported that press secretary Jody Powell now has that material "available for release."
This seemed to come as a surprise to Powell, who told reporters that information from the Carters' 1977 joint return would not be ready for distribution before today at the earliest.
Carter said an IRS audit of returns for 1975 and 1976 showed no change in his tax bill for one year. But he said the other return failed to report as income about $350 of interest received when he withdraw his state pension contributions upon retirement as governor of Georgia. As a result, he said, he owed an extra $160 in federal taxes.
But he added, without giving any details, the "good news" was that the IRS discovered "there was owed to me from a previous year either $5,000 or $6,000 - I have forgotten the exact figures."