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Jeb Bush to release 33 years of tax returns today. Will that be a record?

Former Gov. Jeb Bush will release 33 years of tax returns later this afternoon or early evening on his campaign website.

"This is more than any presidential candidate in the history of the United States," said a  campaign spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger. "This display of transparency is consistent with the high level of disclosure he has practiced during his life in public office."

When Bush ran for governor, he released his tax returns dating back to 1981. Bush was governor from January 1999 through January 2007 so the new information in today's release will cover the period since he left office.

So when he releases 33 years of returns will that be a record?

In 2012, PolitiFact Florida fact-checked a claim by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, that "Mitt Romney is the first major party candidate for president of the United States in modern times not to release at least 12 years of tax returns." We rated the claim by the Democratic National Committee chair False.

Here were our findings at the time:

The high-water mark for disclosure was set by Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kan., in the 1996 election. He released 30 years of tax returns. Second place honors go to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., for providing 20 years worth when he ran in 2004, although he had released 15 of those returns before he launched his presidential bid. (Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, had considerable wealth and released only a portion of her 2003 taxes.)

There have been several major presidential candidates to release fewer than 12 tax returns:

• In 2000, George W. Bush provided nine and Al Gore eight.

• In the 2008 primary, then Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., delivered seven, a move that was matched by Hillary Clinton about a month later.

• In 1988, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis released six years of returns.

• In 2008, McCain released two years of returns, as Roberts said.

• In 1980, Ronald Reagan offered up just one return.

There is a difference for incumbents and challengers. Ever since 1976, when Jimmy Carter became president, sitting presidents and vice presidents have released their taxes each year they are in office. By the time re-election rolls around, they have put at least four tax returns into the public record. Challengers generally match or exceed that.

This post was updated to include information about past candidates filing tax returns. 

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