After U.S. President Donald Trump broke with 40 years of precedent in refusing to voluntarily disclose his tax returns during the 2016 presidential election, many wondered why. Now, state lawmakers are looking got make sure that it doesn’t happen when he is up for re-election.
According to The Huffington Post, lawmakers in 26 states have come together to introduce legislation that requires both presidential and vice presidential candidates to publicly disclose their tax returns in order to get on the ballot. Should candidates refuse to release their tax returns in the future, then they would not be allowed to appear on the ballot.
The now-President has repeatedly claimed that he cannot release his tax returns because they are under ‘routine audit.’ However, this is simply not the case, as you are able to disclose tax returns while they are under audit, just as President Richard Nixon did.
However, in refusing to disclose his tax returns, Trump has only managed to increase the speculation about what they might reveal amongst the public. Trump’s tax returns have the potential to show a lot about him, and could very well either substantiate or disprove many of his claims, including details about how much he paid in taxes, donated to charity, and whether he has foreign bank accounts or paid foreign taxes. Even more troubling for Trump’s ego, however, is what it might reveal about the profits and losses of his businesses.
Journalist David Cay Johnston recently disclosed two pages of the President’s 2005 tax returns, which did anything but satisfy the public. As it stands, thousands are expected to protest cities across the nation on April 15 to demand that Trump release his tax returns.