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TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 15, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Much ado about nothing.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Donald Trump’s failure to disclose his tax returns thus far has come under scrutiny by the press. They contend it is their “right” to review all candidate returns to assure they are not cheating or using unscrupulous tax schemes. Mr. Trump contends his tax returns are being audited by the IRS and, based on the advice of his lawyers, he should not release them prematurely. Of course, the press does not accept this and adamantly demands to see his tax returns. This confrontation finally resulted in Trump telling ABC’s Good Morning America that his tax returns are “none of your business” (Fri, May 13, 2016).

Let’s see if we can clear up a few things regarding this issue.

First, there is absolutely no legal requirement for a candidate to disclose his/her tax returns. This is something the press views as unwritten law, but there is no sand in it. Further, not releasing tax returns is certainly not without precedent. Tax Analysts, a nonprofit organization who monitors presidential tax returns, lists many exceptions:

* “For tax year 2001, both President Bush and Vice President Cheney released partial returns. For tax year 2000, Bush released only his Form 1040; Cheney provided a summary of his taxes, but released no forms.”

* Ronald Reagan did not report his returns for the 1980 election.

* Jimmy Carter also didn’t report his for the 1976 campaign.

* “Gerald Ford did not release his returns, but he did release summary data about his federal taxes for the years between 1966 and 1975.”

* “Franklin Roosevelt did not release tax returns during his presidency, but many returns were later made available by his presidential library.”

And there are no tax returns listed for Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy. So, as you can see, there is no mandate to release tax returns. It’s just something the press insists they have a right to. They do not.

Second, rarely does anyone read the tax returns, people just want to know if they have been released. In Mr. Trump’s case though, the attacking liberal media will go through it with a fine tooth comb, spotting any possible indiscretion and blowing it out of proportion. If and when Mr. Trump releases his tax returns, they will undoubtedly be squeaky clean, leading the press to conclude, “Well, yes, I guess he knows how to make money” (but will never openly admit it to the public).

Third, Mr. Trump provided a summary of his financials in his book published last year, “Crippled America.” Why is the press not interested in analyzing this report?

As long as Mr. Trump holds on to his tax returns, the press and his political opponents will claim this is a liability, that he has something to hide. However, let’s assume Mr. Trump is correct, that he is being audited by the IRS. Those of you who have suffered through such a review will probably side with Mr. Trump by saying, “It’s none of your business,” or possibly something a little stronger.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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