Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) reportedly violated federal tax law by jointly filing her tax returns in both 2014 and 2015 with a man to whom she was not legally married; indeed, at that time, she was legally married to another man.

Issued by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, the report indicates that in 2014 and 2015 Omar filed jointly with Ahmed Hirsi, yet at that time she was legally married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi.  It is not clear from the report if this section refers to state and/or federal filings.

The Washington Examiner reports:

A report released by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board shows that Rep. Ilhan Omar broke federal tax law by filing her taxes jointly with a man to whom she was not legally married.

The Thursday report found that Omar filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 with Ahmed Hirsi, her current husband, whom she did not legally marry until 2018.

The Minnesota Democrat had originally married Hirsi in a religious ceremony in 2002, but the couple separated in 2008. Omar then legally married another man, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, in 2009. The two divorced according to their faith tradition in 2011, but Omar did not legally end the divorce until 2017.

Omar got back together with Hirsi, her first husband, in 2012 but they were not legally married and eligible to file taxes together until 2018.

The finding by the Minnesota Campaign Board means Omar tax returns were in violation of federal law. The IRS defers to state law to determine legal marriages for tax purposes, and the Minnesota Department of Revenue states it is unlawful for couples to file taxes jointly unless they are legally married under Minnesota law.

The report was released after a complaint was filed in 2018 alleging Omar had committed campaign finance violations.

Michelle Malkin noted this aspect of the report and asked if it’s time for the IRS to get involved.

Apparently, Omar and Elmi, legally married, “divorced” in their “faith tradition” in 2011 but failed to legally divorce until 2017, a year before she legally married Hirsi.

Should the IRS or state tax authorities follow up on the report, this could prove problematic for Omar because Minnesota does not recognize “common law” marriage or “faith tradition” divorces, and the IRS defers to the state of residence on this matter.

The Star Tribune reports:

The Internal Revenue Service allows couples to file joint tax returns only if they are legally married in their states of residence. While some states recognize “common law” marriages, Minnesota does not. Joint filers often end up paying less in income tax than if they filed separately. The agency does not confirm or deny its audits or investigations, so officials would not reveal if they have looked into any past tax filings by Omar, a freshman Democratic House member.

Omar said in an interview last year with the Star Tribune that she and Hirsi, both Muslims, were married in their faith tradition in 2002. They separated in 2008, a year before she legally married Elmi.

Omar said she and Elmi split in 2011, divorced “in our faith tradition,” and she reunited with Hirsi soon after. In a 2016 statement, Omar said she and Hirsi were married “in our faith tradition and are raising a family together.” Like all families, she continued, “we have had our ups and downs but we are proud to have come through it together.”

But according to public records, Elmi and Omar’s divorce was not finalized until 2017, and she and Hirsi did not legally wed until January 2018.

On the matter they were investigating—state campaign finance rules violations, the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board found several problem areas and ordered reimbursement to her campaign and a civil penalty.

Fox News reports:

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., repeatedly violated state rules when she used campaign funds to pay for personal out-of-state travel as well as help on her tax returns and must reimburse her former campaign committee nearly $3,500, Minnesota campaign finance officials ruled Thursday.

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board said the first-term congresswoman also must pay the state a $500 civil penalty for using campaign money to travel to Florida, where she accepted an honorarium.

“Rep. Omar must personally reimburse the Omar committee $3,469.23,” the report concludes. “This reimbursement payment is the total amount of campaign funds that were used for purposes not permitted by statute in 2016 and 2017. Rep. Omar must provide documentation within 30 days from the date of this order showing the deposit of the reimbursement into the Omar committee’s account.”

 
 
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