Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has released seven years of tax returns, putting added pressure on rival Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., to release her tax returns.
The joint tax returns for Obama and his wife Michelle for 2000 to 2006 were posted on Obama's Web site. Obama plans to release his 2007 return on April 22. Clinton has said she would release her tax returns by April 15.
Obama's returns show that in 2006 his largest charitable donation was for $22,500 to the United Church of Christ, led by controversial retired pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Obama donated a total of $150,892 to charity from 1998 to 2006, and $240,000 to charity last year, according to the campaign. The tax returns also reveal that Obama did not set up a Simplified Employee Pension individual retirement account plan to save money on self-employment income from his books and his wife's board director fees, as tax planners would recommend.
Obama has been doing other types of tax planning, however. In a speech in New York on the economy, Obama proposed tax breaks that would provide up to $1,000 as an offset on payroll taxes for a working family and eliminate taxes on Social Security for retirees making less than $50,000 per year.
"If we can extend a hand to banks on Wall Street when they get into trouble, we can extend a hand to Americans who are struggling, often through no fault of their own," he said.
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