BREAKING How Trump’s Tax Returns Could Become Public – News


Though candidates for the U.S. presidency
aren’t required by law to show voters their tax returns, they almost always do so as a
gesture of personal disclosure. Donald Trump is a rare exception. During his campaign,
and in two years as president, he has declined to show the public his tax documents. Now
opposition Democrats, who took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January,
may be able to use their new power to get them. 1. Why hasn’t Trump released his tax returns?
His most consistent explanation has been that, at the advice of his lawyers, he won’t do
so while they are being audited by the Internal Revenue Service — and that he has been audited
constantly since 2004. On other occasions, he’s also said that there’s “nothing
to learn from” his returns, that they are “extremely complex” so people “wouldn’t
understand them,” and that Americans who aren’t reporters don’t “care at all”
about what’s in them. No law prevents him from releasing returns being audited by the
IRS. 2. Why is the IRS auditing his tax returns?
For the returns he filed in the years before becoming president, there’s no way to know
that — or even to confirm that his returns really are under active audit. It’s true
that an audit, once begun by the IRS, can take several years to complete, particularly
for wealthy individuals like Trump with stakes in many business entities. So Trump could
easily be under audit for the remainder of his presidency. (All presidents and vice presidents
are audited annually during the years they are in office, but those audits are completed
relatively quickly.) 3. Is he the only president not to share tax
returns? Over the last four decades, only Gerald Ford
— who became president in 1974, then ran unsuccessfully for a full term in 1976 — also
refused to release at least one of his annual tax returns, choosing instead to offer the
public a summary of his tax data. Other presidents and presidential nominees have released one
year’s worth (Republican Ronald Reagan) to 33 years’ worth (Republican Jeb Bush)
of returns for the public to review. 4. What’s so interesting about Trump’s
tax returns? His unwillingness to release the documents
has heightened speculation about what information about loans, business ties or his wealth they
could contain. There are questions about what if any financial dealings he’s had with
Russia, what conflicts of interest his business and political roles might pose, how philanthropic
he is, how much Trump might benefit from the tax-cut plan he signed and, perhaps most directly,
how much or how little he’s paid in taxes. (Glimpses into leaked tax information obtained
by the New York Times showed Trump claimed operating losses of $916 million in 1995,
which would have protected him for up to 18 years’ worth of taxes.) It’s by no means
certain that Trump’s personal returns would answer any of those questions. 5. How might Trump be forced to release his
returns? As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee,
Congressman Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, can use a 1924 law to ask the U.S.
Treasury secretary for the returns of any taxpayer — including the president. (The
Republicans who controlled Congress for most of the Trump presidency had this same power
but showed no interest in using it.) Neal said he plans to make this request, pending
discussions with his aides on the legal procedures to do so. With the returns in hand, the committee
could then vote to release them — or a summary of their findings — to all 435 members of
the House. That would effectively make the information contained in the returns, if not
the returns themselves, public. 6. Would there be a fight?
Count on it. Republicans are prepared to say that Neal’s request is a political witch
hunt, rather than legitimate government oversight. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could ask
the Democrats to re-submit any request with a stronger argument. Or Mnuchin could slow-walk
the release of documents. Democrats are likely to sue if there is a delay, raising the prospect
of a protracted legal battle that could potentially drag on to or even after the 2020 presidential
election. 7. What does Trump say?
After Democrats won enough House seats to take control, Trump reiterated that he might
consider releasing his tax returns — but only after the audit is concluded. “Nobody
turns over a return when it’s under audit,” he said.

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Comments

  1. Bull , who cares !!!!!!!! What is important is that we have needed a President like President Trump for years !!!! Hey he works for free so shut up !!!!!! Will you work for free for your country ??????? Bug the Hell off of our elected President . He is working for free so WHY should you have ANY right to see anything of his ?????????? He is not working for you , he is working for America !!!!!!!!!!! So until you are paying him SHUT THE HELL UP . If you do not like America please leave it .

  2. They are not required to released tax returned. I want to see every politician tax return and the answer on how they have gotten rich on my dollar.

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