A new Hillary Clinton campaign video attacks her opponent, Donald Trump, over a report that suggests he may have used a legal loophole to pay no federal income tax for decades. The Democratic presidential candidate appears to hold her supporters to a lower standard, though: Her family foundation and campaigns have accepted money from some companies that have evaded taxes legally, like Trump, and others that have been caught violating tax law.
Clinton herself has released her family's tax returns going back decades, showing that she's paid between 25 and 38 percent of her income in taxes. Trump has refused to release his tax returns. The New York Times reported that he booked $916 million in losses in 1995, potentially allowing him to pay no taxes in future years. Clinton's campaign says Trump has not paid his “fair share.”
Clinton didn't say that about UBS back in 2009, when she intervened to help the Swiss bank as it faced IRS scrutiny.
As the Wall Street Journal reported in 2015, Clinton helped broker a deal between UBS and the IRS, which allowed the bank to reveal only 4,450 of 52,000 accounts that regulators suspected evaded U.S. tax law.
Before the intervention, UBS had donated less than $60,000 to the Clinton Foundation. By the time Clinton’s tenure at the State Department ended, UBS had given around $600,000 to the Foundation. It had also formally partnered with the foundation to launch a $32 million entrepreneurship program, and paid Bill Clinton $1.5 million for making appearances with UBS Wealth Management Chief Executive Bob McCann.
UBS paid a $780 million settlement in 2009 after it admitted to helping tens of thousands of Americans illegally evade taxes. During the 2016 election cycle, UBS employees and executives have given over $80,000 to the Clinton campaign.
Another backer with tax issues — Credit Suisse — has donated more than $200,000 to Hillary Clinton over the course of her political career, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
In 2014, the bank paid out $2.8 billion and pled guilty to criminal tax evasion charges — the largest payout in a criminal tax evasion investigation. As part of the plea deal, the bank admitted to helping thousands of Americans illegally hide assets offshore to avoid paying the IRS. This past June, the Justice Department announced it had opened another investigation into Credit Suisse’s division in Israel, which is suspected of helping clients evade U.S. taxes.
Citigroup, Clinton’s fourth largest donor of the course of her career, has avoided paying over $10 billion in taxes by using legal tax shelters overseas, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Goldman Sachs, Clinton's fifth most generous donor, holds $28.6 billion offshore, taking advantage of lower tax rates.
Clinton has said she wants to crack down on corporate tax “inversions,” whereby U.S. based multinationals reincorporate offshore to avoid taxes. But she has continued to campaign with Warren Buffett, whose firm was recently involved in Burger King's multibillion-dollar inversion.