California Senator Kamala Harris has released 15 years worth of her income tax returns, Tribune News Service reported, making the 54-year-old former state attorney general the most financially transparent candidate running in the 2020 presidential campaign — in either party.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump has not only refused to release any tax returns, he is actively fighting attempts by congressional Democrats to obtain them under law. Internal Revenue Service code 6103, posted online by the Legal Information Institutem grants the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee the ability to obtain the returns of any American taxpayer.
Several other Democratic candidates have also released tax returns. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who on her Elizabeth Warren campaign site, has posted 10 years of tax returns. Washington Governor Jay Inslee has released 12 years of his tax returns, via Jay Inslee.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, during his 2016 presidential campaign, released several pages of a single tax return, for 2014, as Politico reported. But he repeatedly promised to release multiple years of tax returns and never did.
In fact, as Business Insider reported, Sanders has been promising to release tax returns, and failing to deliver, at least since 2006 when during a debate in his campaign for Vermont Senate he challenged an opponent to release tax returns while claiming he would be “happy” to release his own. But no record exists that he ever actually released any tax returns.
However, with recent revelations that Sanders has become a millionaire, largely from royalties and other payments related to his books, including his latest, Where We Go from Here: Two Years in the Resistance, according to The New York Times, Sanders promised last week that he would release 10 years of tax returns on Monday, April 15. Whether he will fulfill that promise this time around remains unclear as of Sunday.
The returns released by Harris show that, in 2018, the Senator and her husband, Los Angeles attorney Douglas Emhoff, took in about $2 million, and paid approximately $700,000 — 35 percent — in taxes, according to the Tribune News report.
The returns also show that in the early years of her political career, her income derived mainly from her salary as an elected official, starting in 2004 when she earned $142,000 as San Francisco District Attorney. She served two terms in the position, earning $260,000 in her final year there. She then took a $100,000 pay cut to serve as California’s attorney general.
Harris became a millionaire by marriage when she tied the knot with Emhoff in 2014. The couple took in more than $1.3 million that year, paying $410,000 in taxes and donating $60,000 to charities, according to the Tribune report.
Harris had previously released her 2015 tax return when she ran for the U.S. Senate from California in 2016, according to The Sacramento Bee. Her opponent in that race, Loretta Sanchez, refused to release any tax returns.