Trump continues to resist calls to release his tax returns. He told the AP in an interview Tuesday “there’s nothing to learn from them.” Trump’s resistance to releasing his tax returns leaves major questions for voters weighing a candidate who has staked his campaign on his business acumen and the fact that he is “very, very rich” and would mark a major break with decades of precedent set by the nominees of the two major political parties.
Although he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in February 2015 — before he declared his candidacy — he “would release tax returns,” Trump has pivoted to say he would not do so while his income tax filings are still under audit by the Internal Revenue Service. Given that he says his tax returns since 2009 are still under audit, it is highly unlikely Trump will release anything before the November 2016 election if he sticks to that reasoning.
“He still leaves himself this out by saying if this audit wraps up before the November election, then sure he’ll release his tax returns,” said Julie Pace, one of the AP reporters who interviewed him, on CNN’s “At This Hour.” “We said, ‘Will you push your lawyers on this, will you tell them that voters deserve to know this information regardless of the audit?’ He said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘One, the voters don’t actually care about this, and two, there is no new l information that would come out of the tax returns.’ “
In February, the IRS said: “Federal privacy rules prohibit the IRS from discussing individual tax matters. Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.”
Trump has resisted pressure from Democrats and forces within his own party — most notably 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney — who have called on him to release tax returns.
The tax returns would give voters information about Trump’s effective tax rate, his charitable contributions and his income — all data points for which the billionaire has come under intense scrutiny.
Trump in late March released a letter from his tax attorneys confirming that the billionaire real estate mogul’s tax filings from 2009 onward remain under review by the IRS.
Still, Trump has also refused to release his tax returns from previous years, which are no longer under IRS audit.