A top aide to the president said on Sunday that Donald Trump will not release his taxes, even though he allegedly promised that he would. The media is now heavily criticizing Donald Trump for refusing to release his tax returns. WikiLeaks even encouraged anyone with access to Donald Trump’s taxes to leak them online anonymously — of course. But why is Donald Trump refusing to release his taxes, and do Americans really care?
The New York Times reported on Sunday that senior counselor to Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway, officially announced that the president will not release his taxes, adding that other Americans don’t really care enough about Trump’s tax returns. The report goes on to say that President Trump is the first president in the last 40 years who refuses to release his tax returns. The media certainly won’t let Donald Trump forget that he “promised” to release his taxes after an audit was completed.
So we have a president who obviously doesn't pay taxes, and lied about releasing them after the audit.https://t.co/tiVoVjZyOU
— Anti Trump (@VoteNo2Trump) January 23, 2017
Several times during the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to release his taxes. According to the Daily Caller, nothing was legally prohibiting Donald Trump from releasing those tax returns, even while they were under audit. But, legally, Donald Trump doesn’t have to release his taxes, mainly because individual income tax returns are considered private information and protected by law.
Tax Analysts confirms that even public figures — including U.S. presidents — enjoy this “protection of their privacy.” However, most presidents choose to release their tax returns “as a measure of character,” according to the New York Times. Donald Trump kept promising to participate in the long-running tradition of releasing his taxes all through his 2016 run for president but found ways around doing so, first noting that he couldn’t because they were allegedly under audit.
The Sunlight Foundation says that it’s unusual for anyone to be audited as many times as Donald Trump claims he has been. In fact, Donald Trump claims that he’s audited “every year.” Alternet shared some of the reasons why a businessman may be audited so often, adding that “red flags” go up for the IRS if a business has more contractors than employees, if a business claims miscellaneous deductions, if an executive receives extremely high compensation, if family members are on the payroll, or if net income is reported, rather than gross income.
Donald Trump has, in the past, allegedly exaggerated his net worth, according to Forbes, and now Americans are still left guessing, because “he’s not going to release his tax returns.” Speculation has swirled for months about what Donald Trump’s tax returns might contain. The Washington Post reported back in November that Donald Trump may have sheltered money to avoid paying taxes. New Republic added that Donald Trump’s taxes were one of the “most persistent mysteries” in the 2016 presidential campaign.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) January 17, 2017
Some reasons why Donald Trump has ultimately decided not to release his taxes, after allegedly “promising” to do so, may be that he does have something to hide, or that it would be an unwise decision as a businessman, even though he said he would completely separate himself from his business dealings to avoid conflicts of interest as U.S. President. The Washington Post previously shared other theories as to why Donald Trump refuses to release his tax returns, saying that his taxes may reveal that he does, in fact, have ties to Russia, or that he didn’t pay any taxes, or that he has business dealings with the mob.
Kellyanne Conway didn’t say why Donald Trump won’t be releasing his taxes, only that the American people don’t really care, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. Conway went on to say that Mr. Trump has “complied with all the ethical rules” and has “done everything he needs to do to step away from his businesses,” according to the New York Times. In an interview with This Week on ABC, Conway added that Americans don’t really care enough about Donald Trump’s finances to demand his taxes.
And Donald Trump allegedly agrees, saying that “No, I don’t think they’re concerned — I won,” even though a petition on the White House website has over 200,000 signatures from Americans who want Donald Trump to release his taxes.
Some social media users also agree, saying that the IRS has probably already went over Donald Trump’s taxes with a “fine-tooth comb,” and for those Americans who do still want to see Donald Trump’s tax returns, he promised he would release his taxes “on one condition” only, according to CNBC.
“I will release my tax returns — against my lawyer’s wishes — when [Hillary Clinton] releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted.”
[Featured Image by Pool/Getty Images]