Donald Trump Taxes: IRS Reacts To Donald Trump’s Refusal To Release His Latest Tax Return
Donald Trump’s tax return has become one of the major talking points of the Republican presidential campaign since Thursday night’s debate. Aside from the constant onstage mudslinging by Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio during the final debate before Super Tuesday, a turning point came when the subject of Trump releasing his tax returns emerged.
Trump said he’s in the middle of an audit and has been subjected to a federal audit for at least the past 12 years. Trump argues that he’s choosing not to release his tax return because it’s currently being investigated.
The IRS reacted to Donald Trump’s tax return claims by stating they aren’t holding up the billionaire’s return, as the Huffington Post reports.
“Federal privacy rules prohibit the IRS from discussing individual tax matters. Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information,” the IRS said Friday in a statement.
IRS on Donald Trump: “Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information” https://t.co/S2rNo2k5oa pic.twitter.com/Rp0QL3wLC5
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) February 26, 2016
In an attempt to add some clarity to the issue, tax lawyer Steven Goldburd at Goldburd and McCone told The Washington Post that while Trump could release his tax return legally amid an audit, it’s not advised by most tax attorneys.
Donald Trump said during Thursday night’s GOP debate that he’s targeted every year on tax audits.
“I want to [release them], except for many years, I’ve been audited every year,” Trump said. “Twelve years, or something like that. Every year they audit me, audit me, audit me. Nobody gets audited — I have friends that are very wealthy people. They never get audited. I get audited every year. I will absolutely give my return, but I’m being audited now for two or three years, so I can’t do it until the audit is finished, obviously. And I think people would understand that.”
Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo after the debate that maybe the IRS goes after him because he’s a “strong Christian” and “maybe there’s bias.”
The IRS denies in its statement that Donald Trump or any other taxpayers are audited over their religious beliefs.
“The IRS stresses that audits of tax returns are based on the information contained on the taxpayer’s return and the underlying tax law — nothing else,” the statement continued. “Politics and religion do not factor into this. The audit process is handled by career, non-partisan civil servants, and we have processes in place to safeguard the exam process.”
The two ways of attacking Trump https://t.co/gVnXBl8rPX pic.twitter.com/Rha8JYCJcx
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 26, 2016
Several tax attorneys have come forward telling the news outlets that there are legitimate reasons for Donald Trump not releasing his tax filings during an audit. They argue that if any information is modified, it could alter the numbers or lead to other changes in previous tax returns. Therefore, releasing a tax filing during an audit could risk inaccurate information being released.
Goldburd says when a taxpayer is under investigation, they shouldn’t talk to the media about it — only legal counsel.
“Until the investigation is concluded,” Goldburd said of Trump’s taxes. “He should not be releasing anything.”
As for Trump being audited by the IRS, the tax lawyer adds that it’s common for millionaires to get audited “more often.” He admits they’re “targeted more often” due to their varying income and expenses that occur — there are more expenses and other considerations to factor in. Goldburd even said it’s possible Trump invites the audit himself.
When will Donald Trump release his tax returns? Goldburd said the IRS audit may take weeks or months and months to complete.
Donald Trump will face constant scrutiny by critics until his returns are released. According to legal experts, Donald Trump is being smart about not sharing his tax return until the IRS audit is concluded.
[AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File]