Bernie Sanders Releases Tax Returns – His Critics Weep

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As promised, Senator Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane released their tax returns. Hillary Clinton and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer pressed Sanders in the last Democratic debate about when he would make them public. So now, the big secret is out, at least for Sanders.

During the last Democratic presidential debate on Thursday, Sanders called for Hillary Clinton to release transcripts of her Wall Street speeches to Goldman Sachs. Clinton received $675,000 for speeches to the company in 2013, according to her own disclosure.

It seems that Sander’s wife does their taxes and she has been on the campaign trail. Plus, they had not filed yet. Sanders released summaries of their 2014 tax returns last June. During the debate, he said:

‘We’ve been a little bit busy lately. You’ll excuse us.’

Clinton shot back:

‘Well, you know, there are a lot of copy machines around.’

The released tax return shows Sanders earned $206,000 last year before taxes and paid $27,653 in federal income taxes. They also paid $7,903 state taxes and gave $8,350 in charitable gifts. The bulk of their income is Sanders’ senate salary of $174,000 plus their Social Security benefits.

Clinton called for their release during the debates:

‘There is a longstanding expectation that everybody running release their tax returns, and you can go to my website and see eight years of tax returns and I’ve released 30 years of tax returns. And I think every candidate, including Senator Sanders and Donald Trump, should do the same.’

Sanders warned the public that his returns were “boring:”

‘Look, I don’t want to get anybody very excited.They are very boring tax returns. No big money from speeches, no major investments. Unfortunately — unfortunately, I remain one of the poorer members of the United States Senate. And that’s what that will show.’

The Center for Responsive Politics, ranked him No. 81 on a chart listing personal wealth in the Senate.

The Clintons released their returns in July. They earned just over $28 million in 2014 and $27 million in 2013. In 2014, Clinton earned $10.5 million in speaking fees and Bill Clinton earned $9.8 million  from speeches.

Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “Anderson Cooper 360” Friday:

‘There’s not really much there to be trying to dump.It’s just a question of getting it out.’

The Sanders’ net worth was approximately $435,000 in 2014, with most of that in personal real estate. As of September 2015, the Clinton’s net worth was $32,015,000, according to Politico’s analysis of her most recent financial disclosure.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts sent an email to her supporters Saturday with a solution to the average tax payer:

‘Each year, taxpayers spend an average of 13 hours preparing their taxes – and an average of $200 on tax preparation services and software. It’s crazy.

Back in 1998, a [bill] passed…requiring the IRS to implement a simple “return-free” filing system by 2008. This system would give taxpayers the option of receiving tax returns already filled out for them with the information the IRS already has on hand. But nearly a decade after that system should have been completed, the Treasury Department still hasn’t fulfilled its legal obligation.

It creates a return-free option for those with simple tax situations, where the IRS would send qualified people pre-filled tax forms explaining how much you owe or how much you’ll be refunded, which taxpayers could then review, sign and file.’

The old adage says, there are only two guarantees in life, death and taxes. Perhaps, “change” should be added to that list.

Click here for the just-released Bernie And Jane Sanders’ 2015 Tax Returns.

Featured Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr available under a Creative Commons License.

H/T: CNN and USA Today.