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Past tax-return releases by recent presidential candidates

Republican nominee John McCain released two years of his tax returns on April 18, 2008. Notably, McCain and wife Cindy have filed separately throughout their more than 30-year marriage.

The wealth in their family belongs to Cindy. On the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, a classic info dump time frame, the McCain campaign released a two-page summary of Cindy's 1040 from 2006 and did not release her full tax return. Sen. McCain's return primarily showed his congressional salary and income from their community property.

In 2004, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry already had a long practice of releasing his returns while serving on Congress. The greater interest, however, was in the considerable fortune of his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry. 

In October 2004, the Kerry campaign posted a two-page IRS form summary of Heinz's 2003 return. Much of her wealth qualified for the 15% tax rate. Kerry had filed separately and released his full 2003 return months earlier in April 2004. His personal return showed income from his salary and book sales. His wife was able to shield much of her fortune from public scrutiny.