Sanders says he will release 10 years of tax returns ‘soon’

Senator Bernie Sanders plans to release 10 years worth of tax returns “soon,” he said at a town hall forum on Monday night.

“We have to do just a few more little things,” Sanders, who announced last week that he would again seek the Democratic presidential nomination, said during the forum, aired on CNN. He added that a few “mechanical issues” remain but that the returns would be released “sooner rather than later.”

The move puts him on par with a rival candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who released 10 years’ worth of her tax returns in August.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Vermont senator Sanders may be seeking to avoid a repeat of criticisms he faced during the 2016 presidential campaign, after he failed to release as many previous tax returns as his opponent for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton.

She made eight years’ worth of full tax returns available in July 2015, in addition to the several years’ worth of returns she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have released in the past.

Sanders initially only released the first two pages of his 2014 tax return — which showed that he and his wife Jane Sanders earned $205,271 in adjusted gross income in 2014 and paid $27,653 in taxes — but did not show their deductions. He later released his full return.

Asked at the town hall why he didn’t release more of his tax returns in 2016, Sanders said: “I didn’t end up doing it because we didn’t win the nomination.”

Sanders added that the returns he plans to release wouldn’t contain any surprises. “Our tax returns will bore you to death,” he said.

The documents will, however, show that Sanders’ income has increased. Financial disclosure forms he submitted show that he earned more than $1 million in both 2016 and 2017, from a combination of more than $800,000 a year in book royalties and his salary of $174,000 a year.

Sanders’ pledge comes as congressional Democrats have said they want to see the tax returns of President Donald Trump. During the 2016 campaign he asserted that the returns couldn’t be released while he was under audit, and after the election his administration said he wouldn’t release them because Americans elected him without seeing the returns.