Bernie Sanders Tax Returns: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) debates Hillary Clinton during the CNN Democratic Presidential Primary Debate at the Duggal Greenhouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard on April 14, 2016 in New York City. The candidates are debating ahead of the New York primary to be held April 19. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders said he would release his full 2014 tax return. (Getty)

Bernie Sanders has just released his full tax return for 2014which you can read at this link. One key point in the Democratic debate on Thursday night involved a discussion about transparency. During the debate, he said he would be releasing his 2014 tax returns as early as Friday. Interestingly he already released his 1040 tax summary from 2014 awhile back, and we have a link to it in this story under Fact 4. But some people want more details, including all the attached Schedules and an itemized list of every deduction. Meanwhile, others believe that for someone with an income below $300,000 like his, there’s no reason to get a more detailed tax return. But now, all those details are available.

Here’s what you need to know.


1. Bernie Sanders Has Released His Entire 2014 Tax Return, Which Included Itemized Deductions

Sanders said that he would release his full 2014 tax return on Friday, and he kept his word despite a long trip to the Vatican. You can see his full tax return at this link.

Sanders warned at the debate that because he doesn’t make much money, the tax returns are going to be very boring. This was confirmed. His income for the entire year was less than Hillary Clinton has made for one speech at certain venues:

Bernie Sanders tax return

Bernie Sanders tax return

Among the deductions on his 2014 return were:

  • $22,946 on home mortgage interest
  • $14,843 on real estate taxes
  • $9,666 on state and local income taxes
  • $8,000 in gifts to charity
  • $350 in gifts to charity other than by cash or check
  • $4,473 in unreimbursed job expenses, which according to tax law can include fees such as union dues and travel

His wife, Jane, ran a business that only made $4,900 in 2014. They claimed zero expenses for that business:

Bernie Sanders tax return

Bernie and Jane Sanders claimed no expenses from Jane’s business. (BernieSanders.com)

As a Senator, Sanders already releases annual financial disclosures that date back to 2012 online. He also filed financial disclosure documents with the Federal Election Commission, Politifact reported. Tax returns are more detailed than these disclosures.


2. Hillary Clinton Said She Would Be Transparent About Her Speeches Once Sanders Released His Tax Information

Bernie Sanders pushed Hillary Clinton to release the transcripts of her paid speeches given to Wall Street firms, such as Goldman Sachs. Clinton responded that she would release her transcripts when everyone else was equally transparent, including Sanders’ releasing his tax returns. So Sanders took Clinton up on her offer, announcing that yes, he will be releasing his 2014 tax return on Friday. You can see the first part of the exchange in the video above. Clinton did not respond with a promise of her own, so at this point it look like we won’t be seeing transcripts of her speeches yet.


3. Jane Sanders Prepares Their Taxes Every Year and Claimed No Expenses for Her $4,900 in Business Income

When asked why he hadn’t released all of his tax returns yet, Sanders said this his wife Jane prepares their taxes every year.

“Jane does our taxes. We’ve been a little bit busy lately. You’ll excuse us.”

In fact, the summary of their 1040 tax return that was already released indicates that it was, indeed, self-prepared. As you can see under Fact #1, Jane herself made $4,900 for her business income and claimed no expenses for the business in 2014.

Jane Sanders accompanied Bernie to the Vatican on Friday, along with their children and grandchildren. This may account for a delay in releasing the full, itemized return for 2014 in addition to the 1040 form. It was released at the end of the day on Friday.


4. His 1040 Tax Form Was Already Released

sanders 1040 tax return

Here’s just part of the 1040 summary that Sanders already released for his 2014 tax return. (TaxHistory)

According to TaxHistory.org, Sanders already released the summary of his 2014 tax returns quite a while back. You can see the Form 1040 from 2014 in PDF form at this link. Sure enough, the return is labeled as “self prepared.” It lists his wages as being $156,441 and adjusted gross income as being $205,271. The majority of that income is from his salary as Senator and Social Security benefits. He owed a total of $27,653 in federal income tax, paid $31,825, and got a tax refund in 2014 of $4,172. He also owed another $7,903 in Vermont income tax. Bernie and Jane Sanders paid an effective tax rate of 19.6 percent on their federal taxable income in 2014.

Whats’ the difference between a 1040 tax summary and a full tax return? When Sanders released his full tax return, it included details like charitable donations and itemized deductions and all the attached schedules.


5. Bernie Sanders Has a Net Worth of About $300,000

Sanders net worth

Sanders has a net worth of about $300,000. (Getty)

Sanders has a net worth of about $300,000, making him one of the poorest of the presidential candidates. His public disclosures place his net worth at between $194,026 and $741,030, Politico reported. Some media sources just take the highest number and report his net worth at $700,00, but this is inaccurate. The total is likely around $300,00, since as early as 2013 he had an estimated net worth of $330,000, NPR reported. This is far below most members of Congress, where the median net worth in 2013 was $1 million. In the Senate, the median was $2.8 million.

You can read more about his net worth here.

140 Comments

140 Comments

Cindi Miller

Like to see the past 15 yrs. S/A his opponent put out.

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