This comes up every few months. Donald Trump still has not fulfilled a simple “requirement” to release his tax returns.

Will we ever find out if he is as good of a businessman as he claims?

Why do they candidates release their taxes?

  • First of all, it is not a requirement. They do not have to release them, but it has been a tradition since the 1970s. It is a symbol of honesty and transparency to the American people, and it has been well received by the public since its inception.

Who Does It?

  • Every serious candidate releases their taxes. This started with Richard Nixon, and since then, every Republican candidate has released their tax information.

What Can It Tell Us?

  • Tax returns do not tell us that much. Mainly, it shows how much money the person paid in taxes, and how much they earned and from where. These are the most valuable parts of these tax returns.
  • It shows us a couple things: It shows that the candidate is open to sharing their personal information, and they have nothing to hide.
  • It also shows the American people that the candidate is honest and has not tried to cheat the system.

Why Is It a Big Deal?

For the most part, it is not a big deal. Who cares right? It’s just tax returns.

Well, Trump is a bit different.

  • His campaign has revolved around the fact that he is a great businessman, and he will run America like one of his businesses, and that will be great for America.
  • Since this is his campaign pledge, we really need to know if he is actually a good businessman.
  • His tax returns will tell us whether he is really true success or whether he is just blowing smoke. And the only way to know the answer to this: his taxes.

He has refused to release the tax returns because he is undergoing an audit.

But seriously, Mr. Trump, that is a terrible excuse. Since tax returns are filed under penalty of perjury (it is a crime to be untruthful on them), why would you not publish them unless you lied to the IRS?

A reminder: Trump was the main voice behind the “birther” movement, which claimed President Obama was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii. Trump demanded that Obama release his birth certificate to the public, but won’t expose his taxes to the same level of scrutiny by the American people–clearly a double standard.

Overall, the failure of the Trump campaign to release his taxes is a bad move. It allows mistrust to fester and it gives the Clinton campaign ammunition to attack Donald Trump for the remainder of the campaign. Or at least until Trump releases his tax returns.