TRUMP Must Release His Tax Returns

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    Sep 09, 2016 2:01 PM GMT
    Liar-in-Chief Trump has refused to release his income tax returns despite the fact that his running mate Pence has committed to releasing his tax returns soon. This notwithstanding the fact that it's been common practice for many years that candidates for high office release their tax returns for public inspection. Below is an intelligent, unbiased article on why Trump OWES IT to the American electorate to release his tax returns. #ReleaseYourTax Returns @LittleHandTrump

    ***************************
    Why Trump owes it to voters to release his tax returns

    Hillary Clinton has done it. Tim Kaine has done it. Mike Pence will do it, possibly this week. And every presidential nominee from both parties has done it for the past four decades. Yet Donald Trump still doesn't feel obligated to release his tax returns. While he isn't legally required to, presidential nominees and their running mates have been making their returns public since 1976. Trump has said he isn't releasing his returns now because they're under audit, and that he will when the audits are done. But tax experts say that's no excuse -- an audit does not prevent him from making his returns public.

    Like it or not, voters have come to expect that those running for president -- and those in the Oval Office -- will be transparent about their finances. That expectation is not just about figuring out how much a candidate makes and how much he pays in taxes. It's also about seeing how he makes his money and whether what he reports on his returns matches up with what he has said and done.
    At the moment all we know from Trump is that he says he makes a lot of money ("I've done great"), that he gives a lot to charity (more than $100 million in recent years, his campaign has claimed), that he tries to keep his tax bill low ("I fight like hell to pay as little as possible") and that he's audited every year. As many seasoned tax experts have noted, however, his tax returns would not only verify those claims but offer more context on the candidate as a citizen and businessman. "These bits of information are important, putting hard data behind a candidate's breezy claims to probity, generosity, and honesty," wrote tax historian Joseph Thorndike.

    Even if Trump just releases the top two pages of his 1040 plus his Schedule A, voters would see:
    - How much taxable income he made
    - How much he paid in taxes and his effective tax rate (taxes paid as a percent of income)
    - How much he gave to charity
    - What other deductions he takes (e.g., medical expenses, state and local taxes paid, real estate taxes, mortgage interest, etc.)
    - How much income he made on investments (interest, dividends and capital gains)
    - And whether he paid tax to any foreign governments.

    To learn whether and where Trump has foreign accounts or trusts, voters would have to see his Schedule B and related forms. But one of the biggest windows into Trump as a businessman would be in his many Schedule Cs, which detail the profits, losses and expenses from his hundreds of businesses. On those forms he must declare whether he "materially participated" in a given business. In cases where he did, he could really reduce his tax bill because he'd be allowed to use losses from that business to offset taxable profits from other businesses or investments, said tax lawyer Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. Beyond illuminating dollars-and-cents details and tax strategies, Rosenthal noted, Trump's tax returns would give voters a better sense of how Trump's proposals to reform the tax code would end up affecting his own tax bill as much as their own.

    It's understandable why Trump might not want to do it. Why give every tax expert in the country an opportunity to point out what the IRS may have missed? Why give his political opponents and the media anything more to harp about? But what suits Trump personally cannot be the deciding factor because he's no longer just a citizen and businessman who wants to protect himself from scrutiny. He's the Republican presidential nominee seeking what is arguably the most important public office in the world.

    See http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/07/pf/taxes/trump-tax-returns/ (proffering that Trump must release his tax returns).
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Sep 09, 2016 3:49 PM GMT
    I'm kind of hoping Trump never releases his tax returns if for no other reason than to just piss off the media and his haters. I could care less what his tax returns say. If the IRS is okay with them, so am I. If the IRS is not okay with them, I have no doubt we'll be hearing about it ad nauseam.

    That being said, with all the hacking going on, I'm surprised someone hasn't hacked into an account somewhere to obtain past Trump tax returns. Who knows...perhaps that will be some sort of "October Surprise"
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    Sep 09, 2016 4:24 PM GMT
    Not only isn't the audit an excuse, but certainly it is bullshit when he's past returns not under current audit. Releasing at least those would likely satisfy the 40-years- long practice of a candidate qualifying himself for presidency. In the future likely we will see similar on medical records as the request for that becomes tradition. Though certainly a brain scan would have kept Reagan from gaining at least his second term.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Sep 09, 2016 4:30 PM GMT
    Trump not required by law to release taxes. Just because it's "tradition" does not mean Trump is required to follow it.
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    Sep 09, 2016 6:47 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidTrump not required by law to release taxes. Just because it's "tradition" does not mean Trump is required to follow it.


    You are correct--there's no law that requires our candidates for high office to release their tax returns. The article that I referenced in my original post above explicitly acknowledges that. However, it's impossible to deny, given the amount of mainstream and social media commentary on this issue, that reasonably thoughtful people find it difficult to believe that Trump isn't hiding anything. Add to this the fact that even his running mate, the Republican ticket's second-in-command, will be releasing his tax returns in the coming days. Even Romney released his tax returns, as did his Republican predecessors. This, in my mind, demonstrates that something is going on. We do know that the IRS has already indicated that nothing precludes Trump from releasing his tax returns while he's under audit. So, what gives? This is not the case where Trump is being asked to release his long-form birth certificate, or his passport, or his U Penn college application, or his Fordham and U Penn academic transcripts. Our candidates for high office have never released those, except for Pres. Obama (thanks to birtherist Trump). I'm relatively certain that Trump will never release his tax returns because I believe that he has already made a risk-benefit analysis, and that risk analysis informs him that the risks to him and his business enterprise are astronomical and exceedingly damaging. I believe that given the choice between winning the US presidency and the viability of his commercial enterprise post-election, he'd choose the latter. Indeed, I'm not even sure, if he were to win, that he would be willing to run for a second term (which would create a different set of problems for the GOP).
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Sep 09, 2016 9:05 PM GMT
    Perhaps releasing Trump's taxes would create more problems than not releasing them.
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    Sep 09, 2016 10:08 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidPerhaps releasing Trump's taxes would create more problems than not releasing them.


    That's precisely my point.
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    Sep 10, 2016 1:36 AM GMT
    Cough, cough, cough, cough.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Sep 10, 2016 2:42 PM GMT
    DOMINUS said
    CuriousJockAZ saidPerhaps releasing Trump's taxes would create more problems than not releasing them.


    That's precisely my point.


    I get it. But, just because you and others want to see his taxes doesn't mean he needs to show them to you
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    Sep 10, 2016 8:13 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    DOMINUS said
    CuriousJockAZ saidPerhaps releasing Trump's taxes would create more problems than not releasing them.


    That's precisely my point.


    I get it. But, just because you and others want to see his taxes doesn't mean he needs to show them to you


    There's no law that requires me to give employment references/recommendations on behalf of my ex-employees who'd done a great job for me, yet I still do it. I feel I owe it to them. Some of us have a sense of moral obligation. Trump has a moral obligation to release his tax returns--it may not be grounded in any statute or regulation--but it is grounded in our humanity and our sense of duty to our fellow citizens. To put it in more simplistically, there is no "good Samaritan" law in the US of which I am aware, BUT, if I see someone being attacked by a group of thugs, I may not be able to defend him or her physically, but you can bet your life that I will make that 911 call because I feel that I have a moral obligation to do so. I suppose I shouldn't expect Trump to have the scruples expected of people with integrity---clearly he has demonstrated the opposite.
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    Sep 10, 2016 9:52 PM GMT
    irOsUnC.png
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    Sep 10, 2016 9:57 PM GMT
    Mrs Clinton showing her medical records is more relevant to American voters.
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    Sep 10, 2016 10:14 PM GMT
    God_Said saidMrs Clinton showing her medical records is more relevant to American voters.


    She has, certainly more professional than the one handed to Trump's doctor to sign. (Both need to be clearer).

    It's amazing, in any other election a candidate not revealing his tax return would be a HUGE negative. But Trump has made all of his negatives, en mass.........his POSITIVES.

    It's like the Alt-right are anarchists. Do we really have that many people who fundamentally hate our country? Enough to hand it over to Putin?
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    Sep 10, 2016 10:47 PM GMT
    TIMinPS said
    God_Said saidMrs Clinton showing her medical records is more relevant to American voters.


    She has, certainly more professional than the one handed to Trump's doctor to sign. (Both need to be clearer).

    It's amazing, in any other election a candidate not revealing his tax return would be a HUGE negative. But Trump has made all of his negatives, en mass.........his POSITIVES.

    It's like the Alt-right are anarchists. Do we really have that many people who fundamentally hate our country? Enough to hand it over to Putin?


    Bizarro-world-4.jpg

    bizarro_evangelical_quote_2.jpg

    trump_knows_nothing.jpg
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    Sep 10, 2016 10:56 PM GMT
    TIMinPS said
    It's like the Alt-right are anarchists. Do we really have that many people who fundamentally hate our country? Enough to hand it over to Putin?

    Make Russia Great Again!
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    Sep 10, 2016 10:58 PM GMT
    God_Said said
    Mrs Clinton showing her medical records is more relevant to American voters.

    And how would YOU know what's relevant to American voters?
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    Sep 10, 2016 11:07 PM GMT
    theantijock said
    TIMinPS said
    God_Said saidMrs Clinton showing her medical records is more relevant to American voters.


    She has, certainly more professional than the one handed to Trump's doctor to sign. (Both need to be clearer).

    It's amazing, in any other election a candidate not revealing his tax return would be a HUGE negative. But Trump has made all of his negatives, en mass.........his POSITIVES.

    It's like the Alt-right are anarchists. Do we really have that many people who fundamentally hate our country? Enough to hand it over to Putin?


    Bizarro-world-4.jpg

    bizarro_evangelical_quote_2.jpg

    trump_knows_nothing.jpg


    But Mrs Clinton does. Even been photographed hugging them. Well after all, the KKK is an old Democrat creation, after the Republicans freed the Slave of the South. One of those Libtards even murdered one of America's greatest Presidents; Abe Lincoln.
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    Sep 11, 2016 10:55 AM GMT
    DOMINUS saidLiar-in-Chief Trump has refused to release his income tax returns despite the fact that his running mate Pence has committed to releasing his tax returns soon. This notwithstanding the fact that it's been common practice for many years that candidates for high office release their tax returns for public inspection. Below is an intelligent, unbiased article on why Trump OWES IT to the American electorate to release his tax returns. #ReleaseYourTax Returns @LittleHandTrump

    ***************************
    Why Trump owes it to voters to release his tax returns

    Hillary Clinton has done it. Tim Kaine has done it. Mike Pence will do it, possibly this week. And every presidential nominee from both parties has done it for the past four decades. Yet Donald Trump still doesn't feel obligated to release his tax returns. While he isn't legally required to, presidential nominees and their running mates have been making their returns public since 1976. Trump has said he isn't releasing his returns now because they're under audit, and that he will when the audits are done. But tax experts say that's no excuse -- an audit does not prevent him from making his returns public.

    Like it or not, voters have come to expect that those running for president -- and those in the Oval Office -- will be transparent about their finances. That expectation is not just about figuring out how much a candidate makes and how much he pays in taxes. It's also about seeing how he makes his money and whether what he reports on his returns matches up with what he has said and done.
    At the moment all we know from Trump is that he says he makes a lot of money ("I've done great"), that he gives a lot to charity (more than $100 million in recent years, his campaign has claimed), that he tries to keep his tax bill low ("I fight like hell to pay as little as possible") and that he's audited every year. As many seasoned tax experts have noted, however, his tax returns would not only verify those claims but offer more context on the candidate as a citizen and businessman. "These bits of information are important, putting hard data behind a candidate's breezy claims to probity, generosity, and honesty," wrote tax historian Joseph Thorndike.

    Even if Trump just releases the top two pages of his 1040 plus his Schedule A, voters would see:
    - How much taxable income he made
    - How much he paid in taxes and his effective tax rate (taxes paid as a percent of income)
    - How much he gave to charity
    - What other deductions he takes (e.g., medical expenses, state and local taxes paid, real estate taxes, mortgage interest, etc.)
    - How much income he made on investments (interest, dividends and capital gains)
    - And whether he paid tax to any foreign governments.

    To learn whether and where Trump has foreign accounts or trusts, voters would have to see his Schedule B and related forms. But one of the biggest windows into Trump as a businessman would be in his many Schedule Cs, which detail the profits, losses and expenses from his hundreds of businesses. On those forms he must declare whether he "materially participated" in a given business. In cases where he did, he could really reduce his tax bill because he'd be allowed to use losses from that business to offset taxable profits from other businesses or investments, said tax lawyer Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. Beyond illuminating dollars-and-cents details and tax strategies, Rosenthal noted, Trump's tax returns would give voters a better sense of how Trump's proposals to reform the tax code would end up affecting his own tax bill as much as their own.

    It's understandable why Trump might not want to do it. Why give every tax expert in the country an opportunity to point out what the IRS may have missed? Why give his political opponents and the media anything more to harp about? But what suits Trump personally cannot be the deciding factor because he's no longer just a citizen and businessman who wants to protect himself from scrutiny. He's the Republican presidential nominee seeking what is arguably the most important public office in the world.

    See http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/07/pf/taxes/trump-tax-returns/ (proffering that Trump must release his tax returns).


    I suspect the only reason why he will not release his taxes:

    It will prove he is not as wealthy as he claims to be.
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    Sep 11, 2016 10:59 AM GMT
    The only reasion Mrs Clinton want release her medical records, is because people will see she's not as well as people claim she is.
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    Sep 11, 2016 11:33 AM GMT
    God_Said said
    But Mrs Clinton does. Even been photographed hugging them. Well after all, the KKK is an old Democrat creation, after the Republicans freed the Slave of the South. One of those Libtards even murdered one of America's greatest Presidents; Abe Lincoln.

    How many times do you have to be told you're wrong, or simply lying? Have you EVER read a book on US history?

    John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's assassin, was a Southern conservative, as near as can be determined. No indication he was any kind of Liberal.

    The KKK actually had no Party initially. It was an ad hoc assembly of former slave owners, formed as independent vigilante groups throughout the defeated South. But the only viable Party in the South were the Democrats, since their loss of of the Civil War and Northern Republican carpetbaggers made that Party unacceptable. So as the KKK consolidated power and organized under a single banner it used the Southern Democrats as a legislative base.

    The Southern segregationist Democrats, or "Dixiecrats" evolved into today's Southern Republicans beginning in the 1960s. And the national Democratic Party has never embraced the KKK. Nor has Hillary Clinton. But it's Donald Trump who has been endorsed by KKK leaders, and by most of the world's dictators and repressive regimes.

    I suggest you take a sabbatical from your embarrassingly uninformed comments about US history & politics until you're done a little studying. I don't mind non-US citizens commenting on our internal affairs, provided they know what they're talking about. You might take a cue from the Brit Ex_Mil8, who's more knowledgeable about the workings of the US than half the resident Americans on this site.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Sep 11, 2016 2:55 PM GMT
    DOMINUS said Trump has a moral obligation to release his tax returns--it may not be grounded in any statute or regulation--but it is grounded in our humanity and our sense of duty to our fellow citizens.


    Oh you are a sanctimonious one aren't you....Trump has no "moral obligation" to release his taxes whatsoever. In fact, the only "moral obligation" is that his right to privacy should be honored if his personal income taxes is, in fact, something he is not willing to make public. Just because it's been done since Richard Nixon by no means suggests that Trump is obligated to continue the tradition. We've also never had a billionaire businessman who has ever run for public office and become the nominee of a major political party. Obviously, his tax returns are infinitely more complicated than nominees of the past, and this opens him up to the scrutiny of people in the media who, frankly, are often not experts in such things, and who will scrutinize Trump's taxes to the hilt, exploiting any and every number they can twist and use against him, and thus the Trump taxes will become a huge distraction --- fairly or unfairly. If I were Trump, once the audit is complete, I would release parts of the last 2 years only -- enough to show tax rate and taxes paid, charitable contributions, and deductions and leave it at that. The general public, not to mention the media, pouring over every page of Trump's complicated tax returns will only be a distraction serving no one but a thirsty media looking to pounce.
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    Sep 11, 2016 3:18 PM GMT
    trump_moral_bankruptcy.jpg
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    Sep 11, 2016 5:14 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    DOMINUS said Trump has a moral obligation to release his tax returns--it may not be grounded in any statute or regulation--but it is grounded in our humanity and our sense of duty to our fellow citizens.


    Oh you are a sanctimonious one aren't you....Trump has no "moral obligation" to release his taxes whatsoever. In fact, the only "moral obligation" is that his right to privacy should be honored if his personal income taxes is, in fact, something he is not willing to make public. Just because it's been done since Richard Nixon by no means suggests that Trump is obligated to continue the tradition. We've also never had a billionaire businessman who has ever run for public office and become the nominee of a major political party. Obviously, his tax returns are infinitely more complicated than nominees of the past, and this opens him up to the scrutiny of people in the media who, frankly, are often not experts in such things, and who will scrutinize Trump's taxes to the hilt, exploiting any and every number they can twist and use against him, and thus the Trump taxes will become a huge distraction --- fairly or unfairly. If I were Trump, once the audit is complete, I would release parts of the last 2 years only -- enough to show tax rate and taxes paid, charitable contributions, and deductions and leave it at that. The general public, not to mention the media, pouring over every page of Trump's complicated tax returns will only be a distraction serving no one but a thirsty media looking to pounce.


    Don't get your panties in a wad. Chill---it's not the end of the world. Breathe and take it easy. While you're doing that, do a little bit of legal research on "right to privacy" before you start throwing that phrase around pretending to know the contours of that right . Here's a hint to get you started: The privacy interest of a public figure may be "significantly diminished." For example, courts have held that a person who has placed himself in the public light, e,g., through politics, or voluntarily participates in the public arena, has a significantly diminished privacy interest than others.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Sep 12, 2016 2:33 PM GMT
    DOMINUS said
    Don't get your panties in a wad. Chill---it's not the end of the world. Breathe and take it easy. While you're doing that, do a little bit of legal research on "right to privacy" before you start throwing that phrase around pretending to know the contours of that right . Here's a hint to get you started: The privacy interest of a public figure may be "significantly diminished." For example, courts have held that a person who has placed himself in the public light, e,g., through politics, or voluntarily participates in the public arena, has a significantly diminished privacy interest than others.


    Not disagreeing with you on the "right to privacy" as, admittedly, it does become a blurred line when the subject is a public figure --- and especially if they are running for public office. Regardless, Trump is not required by any law to release his taxes. As a Trump supporter, I could care less if he releases them, in fact, as I said before, I hope he doesn't. The only people really whining for him to release them are his detractors or the #NeverTrump crowd within the party.
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    Sep 12, 2016 9:01 PM GMT
    ".Trump has no "moral obligation" to release his taxes whatsoever. "

    WTF? RELEASE HIS DAMN RETURNS and show us how he lies about supporting the veterans.