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During the campaign for the London mayor in 2012, the two main candidates, Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone, agreed to release details of their tax returns. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have also suggested that the policy could be extended more widely. This Note looks at the arguments for and against so far, and looks at selected international comparisons. In Scandinavia it is common for the tax returns of ordinary citizens to be made available, and this will include politicians. In the United States, it has been the convention for some years for presidential candidates to disclose details of tax returns.


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