A tax return that Hillary Clinton’s campaign released on Friday shows that the Democratic presidential nominee and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, paid $3.6 million in federal income taxes from a total earning of adjusted gross income of $10.6 million in 2015. This release of data seemed to draw a contrast with her Republican rival, Donald Trump.
Emmanuel Saez, an economist who specializes in income inequality said that the Clinton’s income would place the Clintons well within the top 0.1 percent of earners, based on data for the 2015 tax year.
According to the return, 9.8 percent of their adjusted gross income was given to charity — including a $1 million gift to the Clinton Family Foundation as the couple paid an effective tax rate of 34.2 percent in 2015. Hillary and Bill Clinton were listed as its only donors on its 2014 tax filing by the family foundation which is separate from the better-known Clinton Foundation.
A contrast between Clinton and Trump over transparency in their personal finances was sought to be created by her running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine in releasing the return — along with 10 years of tax information.
Trump has so far refused to release any of his tax returns for public inspection departing from 40 years of tradition for presidential candidates. Trump has said that he won’t release his returns until that audit is concluded since he’s under an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. This is not expected to happen before the Nov. 8 election. There’s no law preventing taxpayers from releasing their returns to the public, even if they’re under audit, IRS officials have said.
Releasing returns that are under audit would expose them to additional scrutiny — perhaps revealing “problems the IRS hasn’t found yet,” said Scott Michel, a tax lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington. Despite this, how much he has given to charity, how much tax he has paid and other details could still be disclosed by Trump.
“If he doesn’t want people to know that, it can’t possibly be because he’s under audit — the IRS knows the answers to those questions already, of course, because they have the returns,” he said.
Calling the tax filing release as “an attempt at distraction and misdirection”, a Bottom of Form
Trump campaign spokesman said Friday that Hillary Clinton’s tax return represents “the only records nobody wants to see from her.” Information concerned with records related to Hilary Clinton’s use of private e-mail while secretary of state is included in a litany of other information that Trump camp spokesman Jason Miller has listed that Clinton should release. Transcripts of speeches she was paid to give to Wall Street banks after she left her government post were also demanded to be released.
Clinton’s attempts to appeal to lower- and middle-income voters could get complicated by the Clintons’ eight-figure income. The income included more than $4 million in speaking fees and income from book sales for Hillary Clinton and almost $6 million from speaking fees and consulting fees for Bill Clinton.
(Adapted from Bloomberg)