US Democratic Candidates Release Tax Records; Trump Does Not
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released tax records showing she paid a federal tax rate of 34.2 percent last year, while Republican candidate Donald Trump is undergoing increasing pressure to make his own financial disclosure.
Clinton and her running mate, vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, released their tax returns Friday. Kaine paid a federal tax rate of 20.3 percent in 2015.
Campaign aide Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement that Clinton and Kaine “continue to set the standard for financial transparency,” and called on Trump to release his own tax records, as every major presidential candidate has done for the past four decades.
Trump has said repeatedly his finances are being audited and has refused to release them until the audit is complete.
But for months, financial experts have pointed out that nothing prevents a person from releasing his or her personal tax records during an audit.
Those experts also point out that real estate developers enjoy a number of tax breaks that could result in Trump paying a much lower rate in taxes than the average citizen — or, conceivably, he could be paying no taxes at all.
Steven Rosenthal of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center told The Associated Press, “I would expect he’s paying little or not tax. Real estate is notorious for throwing off huge deductions.”
Daniel Shaviro, professor of New York University Law School, told National Public Radio that Trump’s lawyer may have advised him not to release the returns until the audit is over.
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