Hillary Clinton only presidential candidate to release full tax returns

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 1:48 AM

That’s an open question in the case of candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, neither of whom have disclosed years of tax returns. Only Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has fully disclosed years worth of returns.

Hillary Clinton only presidential candidate to release full tax returns

As millions of Americans scramble to file their tax returns by Monday’s deadline, many are wondering what’s in the private tax returns of this year’s presidential candidates.

That’s an open question in the case of candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, neither of whom have disclosed years of tax returns.

Only Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has fully disclosed years worth of returns. Sanders has released an abbreviated version of his taxes for a single year. Trump hasn’t released anything, while his Republican challengers, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and OH Gov. John Kasich, have made only partial tax information public.

All told, the two thousand sixteen presidential campaign has been an abysmal one so distant for tax transparency, according to tax experts and government watchdog groups.

“It has been beautiful bad,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, an advocacy group. “To tell the truth, it’s really only Hillary that’s been fully complying with that expectation that the candidates release alltheir tax returns. All the other candidates have released just the summary pages . and not the details.”

Without the full returns, voters can’t look such items as sources of income, which tax breaks they claimed, what they might've deducted as business expenses or how much they gave to charity, said Joseph Thorndike, director of the at Tax Analysts and author of the “Politics of Federal Taxation” column for .

“In some ways, it’s even more insidious; we’re watering down what counts as a tax disclosure,” he said.

There is number requirement that candidates indicate their tax returns, but it's become common practice for White House seekers since Jimmy Carter became president in 1976.

The returns allow voters a see into the personal finances and charitable contributions of candidates and gives insight into whether he or she's any potential conflicts of interest.

Trump has maintained that he copies of his recent tax returns because he’s currently being audited by the Internal Revenue Service.

There is number IRS provision that prevents Trump from releasing his returns. Richard Nixon in the one thousand nine hundred seventy released his returns even though he was facing an audit, Thorndike said.

“It’s obviously not convenient to release your tax returns. It’s probably even less convenient if you’re being audited,” he said. “But it’s not about the convenience of the candidate; if that were the case, they wouldn’t release anything. We've a right to expect transparency and an audit doesn't obtain in the way of that.”

Trump has been getting hammered by his Republican presidential rivals, GOP insiders and exterior groups over his taxes. They’ve raised questions about whether he’s exaggerating claims about his wealth or made some charitable contributions that running counter to conservative principles.

Former MA Gov. Mitt Romney, who was dogged by questions about his tax returns until he finally released them during his two thousand twelve Republican presidential bid, suggested in Feb that Trump’s returns may contain a potentially damaging

Cruz said that the NY businessman is holding on to his returns because they might indicate ties to or charitable contributions to , a grouping that many social conservatives oppose because it provides valid abortion services.

Trump’s campaign didn't return email requests for comment to McClatchy.

Cruz has released full returns for earlier years, when he was running for the Senate, but his most recent returns haven’t been made available. Asked whether Cruz intends to release full copies of his tax returns, Alice Stewart, Cruz’s communications director, said, “I’ll check on that.”

Kasich’s office also didn’t reply to McClatchy’s requests for comment Friday. When Kasich released abbreviated tax information latest month, his spokesman, Rob Nichols, told , “We have done what the others in the race have done.”

Sanders’ tardiness on releasing his tax returns is a head-scratcher for tax experts and campaign watchdogs. Why'd a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist who’s been in government a long time and who doesn’t show up to earn a lot of income beyond his government salary not fully release his returns?

Sanders did disclose information about his two thousand fourteen returns. But, love Cruz and Kasich, he provided only partial information.

“If Sanders wanted to create people suspicious, he’s doing precisely the right thing,” Thorndike said. “It’s puzzling.”

At Thursday’s Democratic debate in Brooklyn, Sanders said he hasn’t release his tax returns because his wife, Jane, does the family taxes and “we’ve been a small busy lately” on the campaign trail.

“You’ll obtain them, yes, yeah,” Sanders told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Thursday. “I don’t wish to obtain anybody excited. They're very boring tax returns . Number large money from speeches, number major investments. Unfortunately – unfortunately, I stay one of the poorer members of the United States Senate. And that’s what they will show.”

Clinton, who latest year released tax returns covering two thousand seven to two thousand fourteen, pounced on Sanders’ admonition that he and his wife haven’t had time to release his tax records because of their campaign schedule.

“Well, you know, there are a lot of duplicate machines around,” she said. “There is a long-standing expectation that everybody running release their tax returns . you can go to my website and look eight years of tax returns. And I’ve released thirty years of tax returns. And I think every candidate, including Senator Sanders and Donald Trump, should do the same.”

Meanwhile, and first lady Michelle Obama released their full two thousand fifteen tax returns on Friday, as did and Jill Biden.

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