Clinton released her 2015 federal income tax return on Friday in a move to pressure Trump to release his returns. As a couple, Hillary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, deducted $2.24 million last year, and paid an effective federal tax rate of 34.2 percent.
"It's white-bread stuff. Hillary has been running for president for decades and her tax returns show it," said Joseph Thorndike, director of the Tax History Project at Tax Analysts and author of the "Politics of Federal Taxation" column for Tax Notes magazine.
What the return shows is a document prepared in a way to leave little to scrutiny. In other words, no mysterious deductions, or profits from trading in cattle futures. And it would seem every effort was made to show a higher effective tax rate to underscore a couple paying their fair share. In other words, a tax return filed by two people used to the enormous magnifying glass of public life.
You would have to go back to Gerald Ford to find a major presidential candidate who paid a higher effective federal tax rate than Clinton, Thorndike said. During the Ford administration, the top federal income tax rate was 70 percent.