Embattled Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is currently facing scrutiny over potential violations of campaign finance laws, is now facing further accusations of possible financial misbehavior relating to taxes filed with her now-husband, Ahmed Hirsi.
Though Omar did not marry Hirsi legally until 2018, a new tax report indicates that she filed jointly in 2014 and 2015 with him, which could have been a violation of federal tax laws.
Omar has recently been accused of having apportioned campaign funds for personal expenses, earning her a $500 fine along with being ordered to pay back nearly $4,000 from the campaign.
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 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.
Omar was forced to pay back $2,250 she had paid law firms from campaign funds for personal expenses. The report mentions that $1,500 related to personal joint tax filings by Omar and Hirsi.
“The $2,250 payment was a reimbursement for two payments made by the Kjellberg Law Office. One payment of $750 was made to De Leon & Nestor, LLC for obtaining immigration records and one payment of $1,500 was made to Frederick & Rosen, Ltd. for services related to Mr. Hirsi’s and Rep. Omar’s filed joint tax returns of 2014 and 2015,” the report said.
The campaign board ruled against Omar’s unlawful use of campaign funds, but it is unclear if she will face any penalties for violating federal tax law.
The board ordered Omar on Thursday to personally pay a $500 civil fine, in addition to paying back $3,469 to her campaign over using campaign funds for personal expenses.
They found five different occasions when Omar used campaign funds to pay for personal travel and hotel expenses in violation of Minnesota campaign law.
Omar released a statement saying she would accept the board’s fine.
“I’m glad this process is complete and that the Campaign Finance Board has come to a resolution on this matter. We have been collaborative in this process and are glad the report showed that none of the money was used for personal use, as was initially alleged,” Omar said.