In response to Vice Presidential Candidate Mike Pence’s release of his tax returns, HFA Deputy Communications Director Christina Reynolds said:
“We’re pleased to see that one member of the Trump ticket has decided to meet the long-held threshold for disclosure in a modern day presidential campaign. But it’s Donald Trump – who just this week attacked America’s generals and showered praise on Russia’s authoritarian leader – running to be our next president. Trump has continued to hide behind fake excuses to avoid coming clean with the American people, thumbing his nose at a basic level of transparency practiced by every major party nominee since 1976. As prominent Republicans have speculated, Trump’s returns could reveal further ties to Russia and its oligarchs, the truth about his personal wealth, or more lies about his charitable contributions. But we won’t know until we see them. According to a recent poll, more than than six in 10 Republicans are now asking: what is Trump hiding?”
Last month, Tim Kaine released 10 years of tax returns. On the same day, Hillary Clinton released her 2015 personal tax return, building on the Clintons’ tradition of making their returns public since 1977. You can view both Clinton and Kaine’s returns here.
Considering Trump has released his taxes under audit before, and his actions help determine the speed at which the IRS can complete the audit, why won’t Trump release his tax returns and what is he hiding? Here’s a few theories:
- Trump may not be worth the $10 billion that he claims
- Trump may pay little to no income tax
- Trump is deeply in debt and owes more than a hundred million to a foreign bank
- Trump wrongly undervalues his properties to local tax men
- Trump is making a “flood of cash” from running for president
- Trump is taking tax breaks he shouldn’t
- Trump is hiding his lack of charitable donations
Here’s 5 FACTS we know about Trump’s tax returns:
- In multiple years in which we know Trump’s tax rate, he paid a rate of 0%
- Trump promised millions in charity, but reportedly gave less than $10,000 over a period of 7 years
- Trump has accepted a grant intended for small businesses affected by 9/11
- Trump has repeated accepted a tax break intended for middle-class people
- Trump might not even be undergoing an audit in the first place – and he refuses to present a letter from the IRS, sent to every individual who is audited, to prove it
Prominent Republicans question what Trump is hiding in his tax returns:
George Will: “Perhaps one more reason why we’re not seeing his tax returns is because he is deeply involved in dealing with Russian oligarchs.”
Mitt Romney: “Either he’s not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is” or “There’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes.”
Mark Sanford: “I Support You, Donald Trump. Now Release Your Tax Returns.”
Is there ANY way to make Trump release his tax returns? Last month, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Member Chris Murphy called for the Senate to vote on their bill, the Presidential Tax Transparency Act, to require presidential nominees to release their tax returns after their conventions.
In the meantime, media, pundits, and Americans across the country continue to challenge Trump to release his tax returns.
New York Times: Letters to the Editor: “Why Won’t Trump Release His Taxes?”
Washington Post Editorial: “Even Mike Pence appears to disagree with Trump on releasing tax returns”
Huffington Post: “Even Donald Trump’s Supporters Are Telling Him To Release His Tax Returns”
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News Source: NPR