NEW YORK -- Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders started to make good Friday night on a pledge to release his full tax returns from recent years, sharing a 2014 federal filing that showed income of just more than $200,000 and more than $8,000 in gifts to charity.
The senator from Vermont released the top pages of his 2014 federal and state returns back in June, and the attached schedules did not include many new revelations, beyond a reported $8,350 in charitable contributions.
The vast majority of Sanders and his wife's income came from his $174,000 Senate salary and Social Security benefits that both he and his wife, Jane, a former college president, receive.
Jeff Weaver, Sanders’s campaign manager, said the couple will release their 2015 returns, which will be filed Monday unless they seek an extension, shortly after they’re finished.
“As soon as it’s done, it will be out,” Weaver said, adding that the campaign is also planning to release returns from prior years.
Sanders’s tax returns have become a flash point in the race, with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton accusing him of being slow to share them with the public -- an accusation that was leveled in Thursday night’s brawl of a debate between the two in Brooklyn.
Candidates are not legally required to release their tax returns, but Clinton has released voluminous amounts of full tax returns.
During the debate, Sanders said his wife, Jane, was working to complete the couple's tax returns, which he said would show he is one of the poorer members of the Senate.
“They are very boring tax returns,” he said. “No big money from speeches, no major investments.”
According to the 2014 returns, the Sanderses paid $27,653 in federal income tax and another $7,903 in Vermont income tax. The couple paid an effective tax rate of 19.6 percent on their federal taxable income of $140,994.
Sanders reported receiving $156,441 from his Senate job, after contributions to a savings plan and health insurance. The couple reported receiving another $46,213 in Social Security benefits, of which $39,281 was taxable.
Sanders also reported income of $4,982 from the pension he receives having been mayor of Burlington, Vt., in the 1980s. Jane Sanders had another $4,900 in compensation for sitting on a commission devoted to the management of low-level radioactive waste disposal.
On his Vermont tax return, Sanders made a total of $150 in voluntary contributions to support four causes: at-risk children, endangered wildlife, military veterans and the environment.
On his federal return, Sanders -- who advocates for publicly financed elections -- elected to support the presidential election campaign fund.
The $8,350 in charitable contributions referenced on the federal return was not detailed, and Weaver said he could not immediately provide a list of the giving.