IRS Questions Dole Taxes

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: In an exclusive, MONEY Magazine reports that Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and his wife Elizabeth used questionable tax shelters to save some $300,000 in tax payments during the 1980s. Analyzing the Dole returns from 1966 through 1994, MONEY found that at least one shelter -- a real estate partnership invested in by Mrs. Dole -- was abusive by IRS standards. At the time the Doles took a major portion of the write-offs, the senator was chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee and a vocal critic of tax shelters. MONEY's investigation, whose findings appear in the magazine's upcoming March issue, included a careful analysis of the Doles' tax returns by tax editor Mary Sprouse, working with the Washington, D.C. office of BDO Seidman, a national accounting firm. Mrs. Dole's most questionable investment, according to MONEY, was her 1983 investment in Altenn Associates, a real estate partnership that bought four properties and leased them to Kroger Co., the national grocery chain. It was "a pure shelter deal," admits David Owen, her former financial advisor and the senator's longtime political fund raiser.