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Bob Dole's tax returns: Rest in Peace Senator Dole

Write-Off: The Tax Blog

Bob Dole, Old Soldier and Stalwart of the Senate, Dies at 98. I just read this headline. And, the first thing that came to mind is that I have, as far as I know, the only digital version of Bob Dole’s tax returns in existence in the digital version of The Tax Museum. When I was a PhD student at the University of Michigan, somehow I ran across news stories of Bob Dole releasing his tax returns as part of his campaign for president. But, Senator Dole ran for president before the wide-spread adoption of the internet, and, as a result, I could not find these documents online. I wrote a letter to the Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archives and Special Collections, and asked if they could send me the returns. They very kindly sent me a large packet of photocopies of the returns. And, here they are.

Some interesting facts: They remind us that at some times, Bob was a Senator, and, his wife, Elizabeth, was the Secretary of Labor. Combined in 1988, those two jobs produced AGI of $219,794. In their 1987 amended tax return, Bob is listed as the taxpayer, and, Elizabeth as the spouse. But, Elizabeth signs as the taxpayer, and, Bob as the spouse. In 1985, the CPA signed the return on April 14th, not a moment too soon! And, they even had a refund coming to them of $5,959.

I was sent tax returns from 1967 to 1994, which may well be the longest public release of tax returns by any sitting politician. That is a lot of years, likely because Senator Dole wished to release returns from his incredibly long political career.

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