The first family got some good news from their accountants this week - they are due a $14,418 refund on the $55,313 they paid in taxes during 1994.
They also got a bit of bad news - a $10,000 bill from lawyers and accountants for preparing the return.
The tax bill is rather high, White House press secretary Michael McCurry acknowledged, but he said the Clintons have no choice but to pay top dollar because their finances are subject to such scrutiny. Their return was handled by the law firm of Williams & Connolly, which in turn hired the Rockville accounting firm of Hariton, Mancuso & Jones.
“The charge reflects the accounting and legal work necessary to make the return absolutely accurate,” said David Kendall, the Clintons’ attorney at Williams & Connolly.
In addition to the president’s salary of $200,000, the return reports an additional $63,900 in income - most of it from interest, dividends and capital gains from the Clintons’ investments, which are held in blind trust and managed by the Boston Harbor Trust Co.
But President Clinton also picked up some pocket money from Arsenio Hall - specifically, from the appearance he made on Hall’s now-defunct show as a candidate in 1992. E-T Talent paid the Clintons $1,421 last year, representing royalties from a video of Arsenio Hall highlights that features the president.
Also, Hillary Rodham Clinton reported dividends and income of $12,000 from the “Henry G. Freeman Jr. Pin Money Fund,” which was established under Freeman’s 1912 will to benefit the spouse of the president. McCurry said the first lady intends to give this money to charity, just as she did last year.
The Clintons did not do nearly as well financially in 1994 as Vice President Gore and his wife, Tipper. They reported income of $414,705, which included the vice president’s $171,500 salary and $259,013 in royalties from his book, “Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit,” which continues to sell briskly three years after release.