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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Kerry's Wife To Release Partial Tax Returns

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The New York Times reports this morning that Teresa Heinz Kerry will release the front two pages of her 2003 federal tax return when she files it by October 15 (the due date under her automatic 6-month extention). The Kerry campaign released summary information showing that she earned over $5 million from investments and paid $587,000 in federal income taxes.

As noted previously on TaxProf Blog (see here and here), the Kerry campaign is under increasing pressure to release the full tax return of Ms. Heinz Kerry (dubbed "Sugar Mommy" by The Weekly Standard). She and Sen. Kerry claim that releasing only the front 2 pages of the return "strikes a balance between my family's privacy and the media's request for more financial information." This is unlikely to satisfy the media or critics, who likely will continue to keep the issue alive. One also has to wonder whether Ms. Heinz Kerry indeed will wait until October 15 to release the returns -- it undoubedly will trigger another round of critical media commentary three weeks before the election. A better approach would be to make the release sooner rather than later.

Today's New York Times gets a crucial bit of the story wrong: it says that "in the past 30 years, all major-party presidential and vice-presidential nominees have made their tax returns public. President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Mr. Kerry have done so this year." Not entirely true. President Bush and Vice-President Cheney themselves broke with this 30-year tradition and released only partial returns in prior years as Ms. Heinz Kerry proposes doing this year. Bush and Cheney reversed course in 2003 and released their full returns. One has to wonder if they suddenly became fans of increased transparanecy or instead did so in order to take advantage of Ms. Heinz Kerry's unwillingness to do so (abetted by incomplete reports like that in today's New York Times).

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Comments

Two words on why Kerry cannot release his wife's return: Tide Foundations.

Posted by: BigFire | May 12, 2004 7:52:02 AM

Interesting that her effective tax rate is the same as the long-term capital gain tax rate. I guess she isn't one of the "working" families that we hear so much about since she doesn't have any ordinary income.

Posted by: Wes Dorman | May 12, 2004 1:03:46 PM

"Bush and Cheney reversed course in 2003 and released their full returns. One has to wonder if they suddenly became fans of increased transparanecy or instead did so in order to take advantage of Ms. Heinz Kerry's unwillingness to do so"

And how, precisely, did Bush and Cheney know in 2003 that Kerry would be the Democratic nominee?

Posted by: Anti-Tin Foil | May 12, 2004 2:35:48 PM

And how, precisely, did Bush and Cheney know in 2003 that Kerry would be the Democratic nominee?,
Karl Rove told them he was going to have Kerry as the Democratic nominee.

Posted by: Diggs | May 12, 2004 7:27:59 PM

Does anyone have a link to the original of the summary she released?

Posted by: Jack Bogdanski | May 13, 2004 3:31:02 AM