In a strategic move that both exhibits transparency while also taking a stab at Donald Trump, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released her and her husband’s income tax returns on Friday along with her running mate, Tim Kaine, and his wife, Anne. Although Trump claims he will not release his tax information while facing an audit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the agency has stated that no law prevents the GOP candidate from releasing his tax returns to the public.
“Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine continue to set the standard for financial transparency as she releases her 2015 personal tax return and builds on the Clintons’ tradition of making their returns public since 1977 and Kaine releases 10 years of his returns,” Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri declared in a recent statement. “In stark contrast, Donald Trump is hiding behind fake excuses and backtracking on his previous promises to release his tax returns. He has failed to provide the public with the most basic financial information disclosed by every major candidate in the last 40 years. What is he trying to hide?”
According to their tax returns, Hillary and Bill Clinton had an adjusted gross income of approximately $10.6 million in 2015. During that same year, Kaine and his wife reported a total income of $313,441.
Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has also refused to disclose his tax info along with Trump during their campaign. Trump’s critics speculate the Republican presidential candidate may be hiding his tax returns due to possible Russian financial connections, overstatement of his net worth, failure to pay charities, or due to the fact that he paid no income taxes in 1978, 1979, and 1984.
According to The New York Times, the Clintons paid $48 million in federal taxes and gave $16 million to charity over the past nine years. While Trump has avoided paying federal and state taxes, the Clintons paid an effective federal tax rate of 35 percent in 2015.
Questions remain however on the Clinton Family Foundation. As shown on the tax returns, Desert Classic Charities received $42,000 from the Clintons and the Clinton Family Foundation received $1 million. The Desert Classic Charities in turn contributed $700,000 to a second Clinton charity, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Altogether 96 percent of the Clinton’s charitable donations went to a Clinton Foundation.
Facing an IRS audit, Trump has repeatedly refused to disclose his income tax returns in contrast to generations of tradition from presidential candidates. In a statement given earlier this year, the agency wrote, “Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.”
Instead of immediately mouthing off on Twitter like usual, Trump has remained suspiciously quiet following Clinton’s taunt. In addition to revealing her tax information, Clinton also released her speaking income from major banks and corporations, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank. Although Clinton has failed to disclose the transcripts of those speeches, she did release a physician’s letter from last year detailing her bill of health.