TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Yin: Five Myths About Trump’s Income Tax Returns

Washington Post op-ed:  Five Myths About Trump’s Income Tax Returns, by George Yin (Virginia):

President Trump’s solicitous posture toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Helsinki and elsewhere, is helping to keep alive interest in his income tax returns: Does he have some hidden financial connection to the Kremlin? Unlike his waffling on policy positions and factual matters, he has consistently refused to release his returns, contrary to the practice of every president since Jimmy Carter. Still, this is a poorly understood area of the law. Here are five common misconceptions about the president’s tax returns and the public’s ability to review them.

  1. Without legislation, we'll never see Trump's returns. ...
  2. The president's returns would reveal any Russia connections. ...
  3. Trump's returns will show that he isn't as rich as he claims. ...
  4. State action will help reveal Trump's federal tax returns. ...
  5. Returns can't be disclosed until after an IRS audit is completed. ...

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Like most anti-Trump arguments, this one is laughable. Keep in mind who was president in 2016. If there was any flaw in Trump's tax returns for years back, Obama would have leaked or acted directly.

Trump's just playing the Democrats for fools. The more attention they devote to Russian hackers and his tax returns, the less attention they are paying to where he's really making changes.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Aug 9, 2018 11:31:50 AM

It's so pathetic that former scholarly tax research by "distinguished professors" has degenerated into childish partisan political attacks. Legal academia is losing authority and relevancy in tax policy and analyses.

Posted by: Woody | Aug 9, 2018 7:45:03 PM