by Caroline Delaney | Senior Accountant
Hillary Clinton has recently released her tax returns for public viewing, and urges Donald Trump to do so as well. You can find a summary of important information from Clinton’s returns in the table below:
You can see that the Clintons’ Adjusted Gross Income has decreased significantly in 2015 since Hillary began her presidential campaign. Another noteworthy piece of this chart is the Clintons’ effective federal income tax rate of 34%. This effective tax rate is higher than any former president since Gerald Ford (who’s average was nearly 38% during his
presidency). The lowest average tax rate among presidents was George H.W. Bush, who paid about 20%. The Wall Street Journal states that the Clinton’s relatively high effective tax rate is “a sign of caution for a candidate facing intense scrutiny over her family’s finances.”
However, according to William Gale, a co-director of the Tax Policy Center in Washington D.C., “[The Clintons] are paying a much higher rate than, say, Mitt Romney did in 2012 or Warren Buffett does, because those people’s income is all in the form of capital gains. The way the Clintons made their money last year translates to their high tax rate.” Capital gains are generally taxed at a lower rate. It’s difficult to tell now if the American citizens will care or not about her generally high effective tax rate. It will certainly be up for discussion over the next few months.
Make sure to check out next week’s article entitled “Why Do We Care About Politicians’ Tax Returns?” The article will shed some light on why the media and Americans scrutinize politicians and make voting decisions based on the candidates' personal finances.