Americans for Tax Reform

How the Clintons Cheated on Their “Used Underwear” Tax Return

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, October 27th, 2016, 7:50 AM PERMALINK

Hillary and Bill Clinton’s decades-long pattern of dishonesty shows up in their tax returns

A new review of Hillary and Bill Clinton’s previous tax returns show the Clintons blatantly overvalued their non-cash donations and illegally reduced their tax burden. They didn’t pay the taxes they owed.

Hillary and Bill Clinton famously donated Bill’s used underwear and took a $2 per-pair tax deduction on their 1986 tax return. In Bill’s own handwriting, here is the line from the 1986 Clinton tax return, claiming a $6 deduction for “3 pr. underwear”:

Most press reports have focused on the strangeness of the used underwear donation and tax deduction. But the new examination of handwritten notes reveals the Clintons cheated on their taxes by significantly overstating the value of their donated clothing. These are not simple rounding errors of a few percentage points: The Clintons overstated the value of their used clothing by a factor of several hundred percent.

And not just the underwear, but many items of clothing including suits, pants, and sports coats.

When the Washington Post investigated the matter in 1993, they hit a brick wall when trying to get an explanation. The White House “over the course of a week didn’t respond to repeated phone calls seeking answers.”

To this day, the Clintons have not answered questions about their overvaluing of non-cash donations, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign website does not make available her tax returns for the years in question.

Let’s review the case against the Clintons, starting with the judgement question of donating used underwear (likely briefs) and having the gall to take a tax deduction for it. As noted by the Washington Post:

 “Several experts were consulted about Clinton's tax-deductible donations, especially of underwear. Paul Offenbacher, a longtime Washington-area tax accountant, said it is highly unusual to take an itemized deduction on donated underwear; indeed, he had never heard of such a thing.”

The Washington Post also talked to one of the recipient organizations:

"We don't get too much underwear here; I don't think people want that too much," said Joe Cheslow, a senior resident at the Union Rescue Mission, a haven for homeless people in Little Rock, Ark., that has been a frequent beneficiary of the Clintons' tax-deductible largess.

This author obtained handwritten notes of the Clinton’s donation lists to the Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries. Over the years the Clintons consistently overvalued donated items, by as much as 10 times the IRS standard.

The IRS allows deductions for non-cash donations to charity, but taxpayers must value the items truthfully. For tax year 1986, that meant using the “Thrift Shop Value” of items (the same basic standard applies to this day) as noted in IRS instructions.

The Clinton’s 1986 tax returns include a handwritten list showing they declared the value of a “gabardine suit – ripped pants” at $75, the "Brown Sports coat" at $100 and the “Salmon Sports coat” at $75. And of course the famous "3pr. underwear" at $6.

Pictured below: Bill Clinton’s handwritten list of non-cash donations to the Salvation Army for tax year 1986.

Using any calculation method, the Clintons were dishonest:

-Goodwill Industries and Salvation Army both publish guides for valuing used clothing donations. In 2016 dollars, Goodwill Industries values men's suits at $10 - $30, and sports coats at $6 - $12. There is no listing for men’s used underwear.

-The Salvation Army values suits at $15 - $60. There is no listing for men’s used underwear.

-The TurboTax “ItsDeductible” calculator values items based on a combination of eBay and thrift store prices. Men’s suits are valued at $29, sports coats at $18. Underwear is listed, but at just $1.

Basically what the Clintons did is akin to walking into a Goodwill store today, donating a sports coat and deducting $220 from their taxes for it. Or donating a pair of used underwear and deducting $4.40. 

Below are ten of the worst valuations found on multiple handwritten notes from the Clinton’s tax return for a single tax year, 1986:

Just this selection of 10 overvaluations adds up to $1,375 - $1,518 in 2016 dollars.

“Hillary and Bill Clinton clearly overstated the fair market value of the clothing donated,” said Ryan Ellis, an IRS Enrolled Agent and noted tax policy expert.

What are the consequences to a normal American of grossly overvaluing donations in the manner of the Clintons?

“If a taxpayer overstates a deduction like this, they could be held liable under audit by the IRS for back taxes, interest, and a failure-to-pay penalty,” said Ellis.

Hillary Clinton has been preaching for ‘fairness’ and ‘paying what you owe’ on the campaign trail. Her own estate is specifically designed to shield herself from the Death Tax.

The embarrassing incident of the used underwear tax deduction seems to have masked the more serious issue of blatant overvaluation that happened on a consistent basis. Perhaps this is why the Clintons refuse to answer questions about their dishonesty on these tax returns.

“Hillary and Bill Clinton didn’t pay the taxes they owed. The press has focused only on the giggle factor of the underwear, but fail to mention the Clintons broke the law,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Meanwhile, Hillary has pushed a national gun tax, a soda tax, a payroll tax hike on middle income households, a Death Tax hike, a capital gains tax hike and several other tax hikes totaling $1.4 trillion over a decade.”

Americans for Tax Reform is tracking the complete Clinton tax record at

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ATR Opposes Nevada Senate Bill 1

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, October 13th, 2016, 12:05 PM PERMALINK

The Nevada General Assembly will be voting on a bill that would raise lodging taxes in Clark County to help pay for a new $1.9 billion stadium. Americans for Tax Reform is encouraging members of the Nevada Assembly and Gov. Sandoval to reject this tax increase.

Unfortunately for taxpayers, the bill – Senate Bill 1 – quickly moved through the Senate on Tuesday in a 16-5 vote.

If approved by the Assembly and signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval (R), the bill would increase the room tax nearly 1.4 percent in order to fund $750 million of general obligation bonds over 30 years to finance a new football stadium.

While advocates may believe pouring tax dollars into a new football stadium to attract the Raiders may lead to economic growth in the state, the weight of the evidence says otherwise. As noted by the Wall Street Journal in 2015, stadiums “displace entertainment dollars that would be spent elsewhere locally” and do not lead to economic growth:

Research on the issue has piled up during the past two decades. The general conclusion: A city’s economy doesn’t get a bump from bringing in a new sports team or building a stadium—and scarce economic-development dollars could be put to better use with other investments.

“You’re not going to get income growth; you’re not going to get tax growth; you’re not going to get employment growth,” said Dennis Coates, an economist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County who studies the economic effects of professional sports teams and facilities.

A 2007 study in the Journal of Sports Economics examined cities that gained professional teams. It found adding a team did “not have a positive economic impact on the local community” and didn’t raise regional incomes.

What’s more, some teams want to move after only two or three decades in a facility. The Miami Arena, a onetime home to the Miami Heat, was open just 20 years before being demolished.

Mr. Coates, who has published work with similar findings, said even in cities that lure teams from outside, the new facilities generally attract entertainment dollars that would be spent elsewhere locally.

Government has no business taking millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars to pay for a stadium for a private sports team. Stadiums should be funded with private money. A good example can be found locally with Nevada’s new NHL franchise and its T-Mobile Arena, built with private funds.

Americans for Tax Reform opposes Nevada Senate Bill 1 and urges members of the General Assembly to vote against it.

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103 Years of the Income Tax: Then and Now

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, April 18th, 2016, 3:20 PM PERMALINK

As Americans finish yet another tax filing season, let’s take a look at the 103-year history of the income tax.

  • In 1913 the top marginal income tax bracket was 7% -- today it is 39.6%.


  • In 1913 the marginal income tax bracket range was 1% - 7%. Today the range is 10% - 39.6%.


  • In 1913 there were 400 pages in the tax code. Today there are 74,608 pages in the code.


  • In 1913 the family standard deduction was $96,000 in today’s dollars. The family standard deduction now is just $12,600.


  • When the income tax started in 1913, only 358,000 Americans had to file a 1040. Today 150,000,000 Americans file 1040s.


"The American income tax is perhaps the most dramatic example of how government grows at the expense of liberty," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "Slowly. Constantly. Inexorably."

Norquist: The Left Seeks to Tax Guns Out of Existence

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, April 13th, 2016, 11:51 AM PERMALINK

$1,000 per gun tax in U.S. territory follows Seattle’s $25 gun tax, Cook County (Ill.) gun tax, and Hillary Clinton endorsement of a 25% national retail gun sales tax

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Northern Marianas Islands this week enacted a $1,000 per gun tax. As reported by

On March 28, Chief Judge Ramona Villagomez Manglona, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, ruled the U.S. territory’s 40-year-old total ban on handguns was unconstitutional, saying “because the people of the Commonwealth are part of the American people who have overwhelmingly chosen handguns as their principal means of self-defense, the Second Amendment protects that right here as well.”

In a reply to the court order barring enforcement, the Commonwealth Senate passed a strict gun control bill earlier this month to which the House added a $1,000 per pistol excise tax, which the Senate approved unanimously on April 7, sending the bill to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres which he signed into law Monday.

The $1,000 gun tax follows Seattle’s 2016 imposition of a $25 per gun tax (and a two to five cent tax on bullets) the Cook County, Ill. gun tax, and Hillary Clinton’s endorsement of a new national 25% retail sales tax on guns.

“The Left is now seeking to tax guns out of existence,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The Second Amendment makes it difficult to legally ban guns, but Hillary has led the way to explaining you can achieve the same thing with high taxes.”

In passionate testimony to the Senate Finance Committee in 1993, Hillary Clinton gave her strong personal endorsement to a new national 25% sales tax on guns and endorsed a steep increase in the gun dealer fee, to $2,500.  Further details are available at ATR’s dedicated website,

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McConnell, Hatch, Scalise to Address ATR “Tax Day Eve” Press Conference

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Thursday, April 7th, 2016, 4:52 PM PERMALINK

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Americans for Tax Reform will hold its annual "Tax Day Eve" press conference on Thursday April 14 at 11:00 a.m. Speakers will discuss corporate and individual tax reform, tax complexity, IRS accountability, energy taxes, gun taxes, and other current tax topics. The event will be emceed by ATR president Grover Norquist.

Confirmed speakers include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, House Republican Conference Secretary Virginia Foxx, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, Senator Rand Paul, Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam, Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany, Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores, and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan. Additional speakers will be announced prior to the event.

"After six years of gridlock, the public debate this year will determine if tax reform happens or not,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “While the details are yet to be determined, the direction of taxes will be set this fall for the next decade—up or down?”



Americans for Tax Reform's Annual "Tax Day Eve" Press Conference

Thursday, April 14 at 11:00 AM ET

To get location, RSVP to: John Kartch, Americans for Tax Reform: 


Confirmed Speakers: 


Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) - Senate Majority Leader

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) – House Majority Whip

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) - Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) – Member, Senate HELP Committee

Rep. Peter Roskam (R- Ill.) – Member, Ways and Means Committee; Chairman, Oversight Subcommittee

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) Member, Ways and Means Committee; Chairman, Tax Policy Subcommittee

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) - Secretary, House Republican Conference; Vice Chairman, House Committee on Rules

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) - Chairman, House Freedom Caucus

Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) – Chairman, Republican Study Committee

Grover Norquist -- President, Americans for Tax Reform


To get location, RSVP to: John Kartch, Americans for Tax Reform: 


Norquist: Tax Reform Won’t Happen Until We Have A President Who Understands Economics

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, April 6th, 2016, 9:30 AM PERMALINK

On CNBC’s Squawk Box today, ATR President Grover Norquist ripped the Obama administration for its latest attack on American competitiveness.

Asked about the prospects for tax reform, Norquist said:

“That’s what’s going to happen [inversions] until you have a different President who actually understands economics. We were told when Obama was elected he was a different Democrat, he was a Chicago Democrat who understood business. And a bunch of corporate CEOs and Fortune 500 people fell hard for it. It has now been eight years.

This is not a secret. We have a 39 percent tax. The European average – meaning half are stupider and half are better – is 25 percent. So we shoot ourselves in the feet, or rather our government hamstrings American businesses that try to compete internationally.

Add to that, we have a worldwide tax system. Of all the OECD countries, most do not.”



CNBC also notes Norquist’s statement that Obama is using tax reform as a hostage to get higher taxes and higher spending:

The founder of Americans for Americans for Tax Reform said President Barrack Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid have blocked tax reform because Republicans have not been willing to agree to tax increases.

"Good ideas that everybody agrees on in Washington, D.C., are not known as passed legislation. They're known as hostages," Norquist told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"He's been holding tax reform hostage," he said.

Norquist Statement On Obama Inversion Regulation

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Tuesday, April 5th, 2016, 4:49 PM PERMALINK

“For seven years, the Obama administration told the business community they understood the high rates were making it impossible, or difficult, for American companies to compete,” said Norquist. “For seven years, they did nothing. They didn’t put the fire out inside the barn and now they have decided to lock the barn door.”

Hillary Proposes Yet Another Tax Hike

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, January 11th, 2016, 5:08 PM PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton today unveiled yet another proposal to increase taxes on Americans – this one costing taxpayers an estimated $150 billion over ten years.

At a campaign rally in Iowa, Clinton proposed a four percent “fair share surcharge” on income over $5 million a year.

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist issued the following statement:

“Hillary is now the third Democrat presidential candidate to call for raising taxes on ‘the rich.’ Bill Clinton and Barack Obama said the same and immediately pivoted to raising taxes on the middle class. Bill taxed gasoline, and Obama imposed seven Obamacare taxes on the middle class. Hillary’s promise to raise taxes on ‘the rich’ is only the first part of the sentence: She left out I will raise taxes on the rich….first…then you. Her husband Bill made the same promise and then raised energy taxes, gasoline taxes on the middle class.”

Obama famously campaigned on a “firm pledge” against any tax hike on any American making less than $250,000. He shattered the promise with his signature on Obamacare, which contains at least seven tax hikes that directly and overwhelmingly hit middle income families. Hillary is now campaigning on a similar $250,000 promise.

ATR has a one-stop shopping site for all of Hillary’s tax hike proposals –

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ATR Presents 2016 State of the Union BINGO

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Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Monday, January 11th, 2016, 4:58 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform once again presents a series of handy Bingo cards you may use to check off terms and phrases likely to be used during President Obama's (FINAL!) State of the Union address on Tuesday.

His (FINAL!) State of the Union will begin at 9:00 PM ET.

Print out all versions of the card and watch the speech with your family, friends, co-workers or garden club:

[BINGO Card I] 

[BINGO Card II] 




"Work Together" = I will work together with my pen and phone.                                                  

“Climate change” = Yes, my $380 “working dinner” at L'Ambroisie during the Paris climate conference was truly succulent, thank you.                                                     

"Gun" = Something the peasants cling to which Hillary wants to tax at 25%                       

"Common sense" = If you disagree, you are morally flawed.                                                         

"Jobs" = Where young adults used to spend their time instead of Mom and Dad's basement.                                                      

"Internet" = A grossly undertaxed and underregulated part of the economy my FCC will 'fix.'                                                    

"Recovery" = Thank you for not mentioning this is the weakest recovery on record.                                                        

"I" or "Me" = Center of the known universe.                                               

"Investment" = Tax hike.                                                      

"Balanced" = Tax hike.                                                          

"Fair share" = Tax hike.                                                         

"Compromise" = You pay. I spend.                                                   

"Children" or "Grandchildren" = The people picking up the tab.                                                   

"1%" = How kids feel after a Michelle Obama school lunch.                                                           

"College" = Remember that time I tried to tax your 529 savings plan out of existence?         

"Infrastructure" OR "Roads and Bridges" =Let’s raise taxes and funnel the money to bike paths and squirrel sanctuaries.                           

"Energy" = Something I have expended a great deal of to ensure the KeystoneXL is never built.                                                 

"Production" = I'll just go ahead and take credit for increased oil and gas production due to fracking I had nothing to do with.                                                     

"Education" = Let's pay off the teachers union at the expense of the kids, again.                                                 

"Affordable" = Unaffordable.                                                           

"Middle Class" = Those who are the direct target of seven Obamacare tax hikes, in violation of my "firm pledge."                                                          

"Responsibility" = Don't forget to send in your Obamacare "Shared Responsibility Payment" to the IRS.                                                

"Insurance" = If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. My bad.                                                        

"God bless America" = With the start of tax season, good luck deciphering your Obamacare tax forms. Just remember, our handy acronym SLCSP means Second Lowest Cost Silver Plan. Enjoy!                   

ATR's Naughty and Nice List for 2015

Posted by Americans for Tax Reform on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015, 11:26 AM PERMALINK


President Barack Obama
For trying to destroy your 529 college savings account after maxing out his own daughters’ 529 plans.



Tom Brady
For giving away the Super Bowl MVP truck to teammate Malcolm Butler while offering to pick up the tax bill.



Hillary Clinton
For proposing a steep ausreisesteuer (that’s German for “exit tax”) instead of reforming the uncompetitive U.S. corporate tax code.



The American people
For fleeing high-tax states run by Democrats and moving to low-tax states run by Republicans.



IRS Chief John Koskinen
For failing to search 5 of 6 locations of Lois Lerner’s emails.



The Magna Carta
For 800 years of limiting the tax authority of the king of England.



For destroying Lois Lerner’s hard drive in an AMERI-SHRED AMS-750 HD shredder.



Congressman Peter Roskam (R-Ill.)
For being a dogged defender of taxpayers against IRS abuse.



Atlanta Braves Lobbyist John S. “Trip” Martin III and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston
For trying to silence critics of their state gas tax increase with threats and intimidation.



Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves
For leading the campaign against Initiative 42, an anti-taxpayer measure that would've given one judge the power to mandate higher taxes.



For wasting 500,000 taxpayer-funded hours on union organizing activity.


House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady
For pushing Death Tax repeal through the House for the first time in a decade.


Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) 
For calling for an end to the life-saving electronic cigarette industry.


Sen. John Thune
For spearheading a permanent ban on Internet access taxes.


Lois Lerner
A Senate Finance Committee investigation revealed she approved only ONE conservative non-profit in three years.


Congressman Tom Price
For taking the lead on the Obamacare repeal reconciliation bill.


Hillary Clinton
For endorsing a new national 25% sales tax on guns.


Congressman Pat Tiberi
For being the hill’s biggest champion of full business expensing.



David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
For winning the UK election thanks to his no tax pledge. 


Congressman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.)
For holding the first serious oversight hearings on Obamacare state exchanges.


Sen. Tammy Baldwin
For seeking to hike the capital gains tax on everyone, starting with “carried interest” capital gains.


Governor Rick Scott (R-Fla.)
For working to further reduce the tax burden on individuals and businesses by at least $1.5 billion in his second term.



For not allowing elderly or disabled Americans to leave phone messages.


Republicans in the California legislature
For stopping California Democrats’ push for billions in even higher taxes by remaining unified as a caucus.


For rehiring former employees fired for snooping on taxpayers’ personal information.


The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) -- the Venezuelan opposition party
For winning the parliamentary elections and defeating the "Chavismo" Regime for the first time since 1998.


For illegally giving contracts to felons and tax cheats.


Congressmen Joe Pitts and Bill Shuster
For their work to end the crony U.S. sugar program.


Lois Lerner
For hiding official government emails under her dog’s name: Toby


Eamon Dealaney Executive Director of Hibernia Forum
For co-founding the new and the only free-market taxpayer group and think tank in Ireland.


The Obama Justice Department
For letting Lois Lerner walk free.


Mauricio Macri, Newly Elected President of Argentina
For winning the presidential election with a center-right and free-market platform after 12 years of leftist-Peronist government.


Obamacare State Exchanges and Co-Ops
For wasting taxpayer dollars on crony political favoritism before failing spectacularly.


Sen. Orrin Hatch
For finally getting the lion’s share of the tax extenders package made permanent.


Hillary Clinton
For proposing the most complex and Byzantine cap gains tax regime in American history.


Sen. Chuck Schumer
For hoping Hillary gets elected so that they can together force a carbon tax on the American people.



Hillary Clinton
For pushing the Death Tax on others while using creative Death Tax avoidance mechanisms for herself.


For pushing tax harmonization instead of tax competition.


U.S. Postal Service
For losing $5 billion in 2015, marking the ninth consecutive year they’ve posted billion-dollar losses.


CT Gov. Dan Malloy (D)
For approving a $1.2 billion tax hike, breaking the promise he made to voters that he would not to raise taxes if reelected.



Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D)
For pushing for the largest tax hike in Pennsylvania history. 


For releasing 3 million gallons of toxic waste into the Animas River.




Seattle City Council
For trying to unionize Uber and Lyft drivers.


Rahm Emanuel
For his insane scheme to build a government-run casino in downtown Chicago so he can give the jobs to his union boss friends and campaign supporters at UNITE HERE.

Hillary Clinton
For referring to tax hikes as “revenue enhancements.”