Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, earned adjusted gross income of $10.6 million in 2015 and paid $3.6 million in federal income taxes, according to a tax return her campaign released Friday as it sought to draw a contrast with her Republican rival, Donald Trump.
Their income would place the Clintons well within the top 0.1 percent of earners, based on data for the 2014 tax year analyzed by a leading economist on income inequality.
The couple paid an effective tax rate of 34.2 percent in 2015 and donated 9.8 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity -- including a $1 million gift to the Clinton Family Foundation -- according to the return. The family foundation, which is separate from the better-known Clinton Foundation, listed Hillary and Bill Clinton as its only donors on its 2014 tax filing.
Friday’s release adds to eight years of returns that Hillary Clinton’s campaign made public last year. “All told, the Clintons have made their tax returns public for every year dating back to 1977,” according to a campaign news release.
In releasing the return — along with 10 years of tax information for her running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine -- Clinton’s campaign once again tried to create a contrast between her and Trump over transparency in their personal finances.
Departing from 40 years of tradition for presidential candidates, Trump has so far refused to release any of his tax returns for public inspection. Trump has said that he’s under an audit by the Internal Revenue Service and won’t release his returns until that audit is concluded -- which may not happen before the Nov. 8 election. IRS officials have said there’s no law preventing taxpayers from releasing their returns to the public, even if they’re under audit.
Yet the Clintons’ eight-figure income, which included almost $6 million from speaking fees and consulting fees for Bill Clinton and more than $4 million in speaking fees and income from book sales for Hillary Clinton, may complicate her attempts to appeal to lower- and middle-income voters. Their income appears to place them well within the top 0.1 percent of earners, based on data gathered by economist Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley. Taxpayers in that group had average income of just over $6 million in 2014, according to Saez’s data.
The Clintons’ prior tax returns showed that from 2007 through 2014, the couple made $139.1 million -- much of it from paid speeches. The Clintons paid $43.9 million in federal taxes over those years — an average tax rate that works out to 31.6 percent.
In 2015, their return shows, they overpaid their federal taxes by more than $1 million and asked that the excess be applied to their 2016 tax bill.
Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, paid an effective federal tax rate of 20.3 percent in 2015 on $313,441 in adjusted gross income, according to a copy of their return for the year. Over the past 10 years, the couple have donated 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity, according to the campaign’s news release.