What is the story behind Donald Trump’ Tax Returns?
— POLITICO (@politico) June 20, 2016
Donald J. Trump said that he does not believe the voters have any right to see his tax returns, and he insisted it was “none of your business” when pushed on what tax rate he recompenses.
The recent remarks made by Donald Trump signal to his intention of not disclosing details of his income or what favors his wealth, a problem of endless rumors for someone who boasts of being a billionaire. Despite his run-ins with economic failure in the past, he monetized solely on his celebrity-oriented income. While not mandatory to release their tax returns, all the presidential nominees have done so for the past forty years, including President Nixon, who released them even though he was undergoing an Internal Revenue Service audit. In refusing to release his returns, Trump cited “It’s under routine audit. When the audit ends, I’m going to present them. That should be before the election. I hope it’s before the election.” But when asked by an interviewer, what his actual tax rate, Mr. Trump said, “It’s none of your business. You’ll see it when I release, but I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible,” he added.
It is ironical that he wants to rally for lower taxes for Americans, if elected to power.
— Linda Suhler, Ph.D. (@LindaSuhler) June 20, 2016
If certain sources are to be believed, Trump’s credibility could be in serious trouble.
— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) June 15, 2016
How much is Donald Trump worth?
Reminder: Trump hasn't released his taxes because he's embarrassed they will show his true net worth.
— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) June 14, 2016
For many years, Donald Trump’s capital has been a stirring target, a subject left to much estimation, discussion and even trial.
Last summer, Trump filed the personal financial disclosures; his campaign released a statement that he was worth more than “Ten Billion Dollars”. But when this 92 page file was made public, the disclosures by Trump indicated that he had about $1.4 billion in assets, inclusive of his real estate and golf clubs.Fortune just nailed his worth at $3.72 billion. Forbes calculated it at $4.5 billion in September 2015. But Trump was doubtful of both numbers. He opposed to an estimate earlier when Timothy L. O’Brien, wrote a book that cited his net worth at $150 million to $250 million, centered on three confidential sources. He sued O’Brien for defamation, but ultimately failed to prove his case.
While his tax returns would not show his worth, they would however show his investments and where those are being held, also to scope his charitable contributions. Kenneth A. Gross recommended that the contents of Trump’s tax returns were certainly of public interest. “Obviously it could raise issues about deductions, reporting of income, all sorts of things that we worry about when we file our tax returns,” said Gross. “There’s obviously something of interest because it’s being audited. It would be, I think, important to see what’s in these returns.”
Trump claims, “I put in financials, 100 pages worth of financials that show that I built a company that’s worth more than $10 billion. It shows cash. It shows cash flows. It shows everything. You learn very little from tax returns, but nevertheless, when the audit is complete, I will release. I have no problem with it.” He also mentioned that he has no offshore financial records.
On his campaign websiteTrump’s tax counsels wrote in a letter in March that his returns have been under “continuous examination” since 2002by the I.R.S. due to his huge business. The group “Common Cause” put out a statement calling on him to release the tax returns, pointing out that the returns released were from the early 2000s that were under audit to ‘gambling commissions’ in New Jersey as well as Pennsylvania.
In 2011, when he planned to run for President, he announced that he would release his tax returns when Obama would release his birth certificate. Obama went on and made the birth certificate public in April and Trump declared a few weeks later that he would not be in the running for president. Last year, Trump considered whether to release his returns, but he did not mention the audits till this year.
Tax specialists do not see a legitimate reason for Trump to hold back. “When you file your return with the I.R.S. or any taxation authority you are filing your returns under penalty of perjury that what you are filing is true and correct,” informed Laurie B. Kazenoff, a former I.R.S. tax lawyer “You should be standing by what you filed regardless of any audit.”
Six out of ten independents believe Trump should just release his taxes. 44 percent of Republicans want the billionaire to release his returns before the election, less passionately of course. During this January, Trump declared to release his returns. But, after winning in most primaries, the mogul explained that he won’t release them till after the audit. Then he claimed there’s nothing to learn from the filings. Next, he appealed privacy. “None of your business,” was a statement thrown around a few times. After that he reiterated that he wants to release them but is not allowed to. He hasboasted about paying as little as possible in most media, according to him it’s “the American way,” but he also routinely attacked other corporations for using loopholes to “get away with murder” in his remnantspeech. Trumpsaid recently that he has paid “ample” taxes but failed to offer specifics. He repeated that he tries “very hard to pay as little tax as possible”. He has made statements like “One of the reasons is because the government takes your money and wastes it in the Middle East and all over the place.”
In a book, Trump criticized the current tax code: “Imagine your paycheck was 40 percent higher than it currently is. What could you do with 40 percent more wealth? How many jobs and opportunities for others could you create?The longer you really think about it the madder you will get,” he wrote. “Especially when you consider the waste, fraud, and abuse the federal government traffics in as it inflicts its self-defeating policies on hard-working Americans.”
It is definitely unclear of when the I.R.S. will complete the audit and even when they are done, how long it will take Trump to make them public. The presidential elections will take place in November giving the public about seven months to hope for an announcement. Few promises have been made by the candidates , but only time will tell if they are going to be fulfilled.