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Clinton Made Tax Deductible Donations to Family Foundation

by Aya Katz

Hillary Rodham Clinton released her tax return for 2015 over the weekend. It turns out that she paid a 31% marginal tax rate on her taxable income. And she and Bill are responsible for $1,042,000 in charitable donations. Ninety-six percent of those donations went to their favorite charity — The Clinton Family Foundation. For the Clintons, charity begins at home.

With a combined income of $10,745,378, the Clintons, filing jointly in 2015, paid $3,624,455. That’s actually quite a lot of money, and in all fairness, those of us who are libertarians think that they should not have had to pay a penny of it; but neither should the rest of us. The Clintons reported only one hundred dollars in wages and tips, but they had $10,168,272 in business income. Their refund for 2015, due to their overpayment of estimated taxes, was a hefty $1,039,790. So much for their Form 1040. But the really interesting tidbit about their charitable donations does not begin until we get to Schedule A — Itemized Deductions.

There, after interest paid and other itemized deductions, we learn the extent of the Clintons’ charity, to the tune of one million and forty-two thousand. But it’s not until we get to the supplement to Schedule A that the breakdown is spelled out in a neat typewritten list. One million dollars were donated to the Clinton Family Foundation. Forty-two thousand went elsewhere.


The adage “charity begins at home” means that we should make sure we support our own family, rather than spend our money on charitable donations. It was invented at a time when people too interested in earning a place in heaven began to neglect their own families in order to make a show of ostentatious giving to others. Forgetting to meet family responsibilities in a mad rush to appear charitable was frowned upon. Such charity, most people agreed, was fake. But the Clintons now have the best of both worlds: they can give to charity and family at the same time, because their favorite charity is their  family.

By way of contrast, the Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson admitted that his charitable donations are nothing to brag about. “My charitable contributions would be negligible,” Johnson said. “I mean just, really almost nonexistent.” Libertarians sometimes beat themselves up to prove that private charity is better than welfare, challenging each other to donate more.  But let’s remember that the best solution to poverty is the elimination of taxes, so that however much or little we make, we are free to spend it all on our own family.

We live in a strange time and age, if when a political candidate says his or her charitable donations are nonexistent, that is how we know that he or she is not a crook.

  • crm8

    do you know if and what the clinton family foundation has supported other than themselves?

  • alpha754293

    That would be the SMART thing to do and any half-decent tax accountant – you should expect them to give you advice like this in order to minimise your tax exposure.


    I don’t see why this is even article/blog-post worthy….

    I’m not even Libertarian but under the direction and advice of my accountant, I self-incorporated earlier this year and so some of my income is now funnelled through my corporation, of which, there is exactly only ONE employee (me), and only ONE director (also me).

    If I had stayed under the sole proprietorship, my tax liability would have been ~60%. Under my corporation, that drops down to 15% (because any money that I make and take out, I will issue a dividend to myself, which is taxed at the dividend rate rather than at the rate of a salary and/or wage).

    And that’s BEFORE I can leverage those corporate loopholes that people keep talking about and BEFORE any deductions, which INCLUDES charitable deductions (in order to reduce my taxable income), being that last year when I filed, I made too much to qualify for IRA contribution deduction. So, it might actually make more sense to literally give some of that money away and take the tax deduction instead. (Plus, it has the benefit that depending on the charity I choose (it is usually a 501(c) school for the performing arts), I KNOW for a fact that all of the money goes to fund their scholarships for students that are underprivileged and I know that it can go towards helping them because dance shoes are expensive (as is dance education when you’re going to 5 classes/week).

    And if you don’t get that, then I don’t know what else to tell you because that, to me, is such an obvious answer to a non-question/non-issue (that it appears like you’re trying to MAKE it into an issue where none exists).

    And if you ARE a Libertarian and you HAVEN’T already self-incorporated and re-negotiated all of your contracts or your terms of employment so that all of your income is funnelled through your corporation – my question to you would be “why the hell not?”.

  • steve62

    By contributing the “Fake” Million dollars to their own foundation (Themselves), they saved
    almost 300,000 in taxes. Also, a review of their Schedule C’s vs prior years shows a severe decrease in expenses, probably so they wouldn’t be scrutinized. Also, do a review of the CGI, and look at the actual funds / grants doled out to support their so-called programs. Appears to be only approx 6 million on 177 million taken in… That is a HORRIBLE rate… How can these crooks get away with this???

    • mkeeler

      I’m not a fan of HRC, and I’m not disagreeing on your tax assessment A point of fact: foundations do not pay out all monies taken in in any given year. They invest them and the basis grows to provide more $ for grantmaking in future years.

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