Politics

Clinton To Release 2015 Tax Returns

| by Robert Fowler
Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonDemocratic nominee Hillary Clinton

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is readying to release her 2015 tax returns. The disclosure could  pressure Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has so far refused to release any of his returns, to finally allow the public to see his finances.

On August 11, a source familiar with the Clinton campaign told Politico she would be releasing her latest annual tax return “in the coming days.”

Another source told CNBC that the public should expect Clinton’s 2015 tax return to reveal that she pays a tax rate around 35 percent in addition to 10 percent of her finances going to charitable donations.

Clinton’s running mate, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, will also be releasing his past 10 years of tax returns.

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The Democratic nominee has already made the previous eight years of her tax returns, ranging from 2007 to 2014, available to the public on her official campaign website.

Bn contrast, Trump has repeatedly refused to disclose any of his annual tax returns, citing that they are still undergoing an audit from the IRS. Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort has indicated that the business mogul will not be releasing any returns before the November election.

“Mr. Trump has said that his taxes are under audit and he will not be releasing them,” Manafort told CBS News on July 27.

By withholding his taxes before the general election, Trump would be going against decades of precedent in presidential politics.

Scott Michel, a partner at tax law firm Caplin & Drysdale, has pointed out that the ongoing IRS audit does not legally forbid him from publicly disclosing his returns.

“He filed these tax returns under penalty of perjury with the IRS,” Michel told The New Yorker. “If he were to disclose the returns publicly, he’s not disclosing anything that the IRS doesn’t already know about. A disclosure in and of itself cannot possibly prejudice or hurt him with his audit.”

Because Trump has not made his tax returns public, voters do not have enough information to determine how much he pays in taxes, how much he donates to charities, whether or not he has investments in foreign countries, or how much he is actually worth.

On August 1, billionaire investor Warren Buffett joined Clinton on the campaign trail in Omaha, Nebraska. The 85-year-old Buffett slammed Trump for not releasing his tax returns. He challenged the GOP nominee to join him at a public forum and take questions about his returns. 

“I’m under audit, too, and I would be delighted to meet him anyplace, anytime, before the election,” Buffett said, according to Reuters. “I’ll bring my tax return, he can bring his tax return ... and let people ask us questions about the items that are on there.”

Sources: CBS NewsCNBC, The New Yorker, PoliticoReuters / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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