Under pressure, ex-Rep. Deal releases tax returns

Former Rep. Nathan Deal (R) released three decades of his tax returns on Thursday. The Georgia gubernatorial candidate had been under pressure to release the documents after Democratic rival Roy Barnes earlier released 25 years of returns.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The former North Georgia congressman, who listed his net worth at $2.5 million on his financial disclosures, put 29 years worth of his income tax records online after 6 p.m. He released only 1040 forms, which offer a basic overview, however, not the detailed supplemental forms that show the specific revenue streams from specific businesses and properties.

The more detailed forms might shed light on his financial interest in a salvage business in Gainesville — questions about those interests led to a congressional ethics investigation.

Campaign spokesman Brian Robinson did not say whether Deal planned to give the same detailed accounting as Barnes, but said the 1040 forms, combined with the financial disclosures to the state Ethics Commission and to Congress gave a complete financial picture.

"It shows how much he made and how much he paid in taxes," Robinson said. "It shows what he owns."

Deal's tax returns have been a political liability for him in the past. The Office of Congressional Ethics in March found that he had improperly described income from his family's salvage business. He classified the $75,000 he received from Recovery Services Inc. as dividends in his congressional filings, when in fact he reported the money as wages on his 2008 tax return. That amount exceeded the House rule on outside income — the Republican retired on March 21, before the House ethics committee could take further action against him.

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