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THE INDEX — June 29, 2009

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Jodi Liss: The Woes of Timothy Geithner

This may sound peculiar coming from someone in a job with no security and that pays about a fifth of what he earns, but I feel sorry for future Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and his tax problems over his past employment with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Actually, I would more surprised if he hadn’t had problems. I, too, have worked for international organizations (in my case, the UN, UNDP, and UNICEF) and I too know what it is like to try to deal with the arcane rules that seem to be tailor-made for each individual short–term hire at these places. At the UN, and apparently at similar places, what you pay in taxes depends on not only your nationality but on the kind of contract you have and its terms for the individual position. It is so convoluted that one of the first decisions you make at the start is to find a good accountant. No matter how clever you think you are, you immediately discover that you are but a babe in the woods.

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