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Saturday, April 5, 2008

More on the Clinton Tax Returns

Following up on yesterday's post on the release of the Clinton tax returns:

  • Most of the charitable contributions reported by the Clintons on the joint returns (discussed here) were funneled through the Clinton Family Foundation.  For example, based on a comparison of the Clinton Form 1040s and the Clinton Family Foundation's Form 990-PFs for the five-year 2002-2006 period, $5,935,956 (92.8%) of the $6,395,256 of charitable contributions were funneled through the foundation:

Clinton_gifts_3

  • The Clintons made a $3,500 donation to the United Church of Christ, the denomination of Barack Obama's Trinity United Church of Christ, which has been much in the news recently because of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's inflammatory comments.  The Clintons donated to the United Church of Christ's Wider Church Ministries.
  • Like the Obamas, the Clintons eschewed setting up a SEP-IRA to shelter at least $45,000 annually from their massive Schedule C income.
  • Unlike John Edwards, the Clintons did not use an S Corporation to reduce their huge self-employment tax liability.
  • $8 million of the $109 million income was from non-U.S. sources.

(Hat Tip:  Joe Kristan.)  Media and blogopshere coverage:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/04/more-on-the-cli.html

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Comments

There is some imputed income from interest on a loan to a family member. It is minor in each year, but could it be that the Clintons are skirting around gift tax reporting and possible gift tax at a higher rate and for a larger amount (tax on interest as opposed to tax on the principal of the "loan") due to charactarizing the transaction between themselves and this family member as a loan as opposed to a gift?

Posted by: Jay Gleason | Apr 5, 2008 4:10:39 PM

Bloomberg's analysis, liked above, raises a lot of questions.

Former President Bill Clinton has earned $15.4 million from billionaire Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. investment firm since 2003....

"Most people who make that much money work for it," said Yale University tax law professor Michael Graetz, a former Treasury Department official in President George H.W. Bush's administration. "What are they being paid for, and if it's the Sheikh of Dubai paying the husband of somebody who might be the next president of the United States, what do they think they're paying for?"

Membership in the "Emperor's Club?"


Posted by: Woody | Apr 5, 2008 10:43:47 PM

I know it's just me, but I'm feeling uncomfortable that the returns provided are not EXACTLY like those filed. Documents have a way of getting misssing or cleansed with the Clinton's.

Posted by: Woody | Apr 6, 2008 3:49:25 PM

The action is in the K-1s. Everything else is straight up. No law against the private foundation.

Posted by: ropadi | Apr 6, 2008 11:07:13 PM