While Trump may not be “proven guilty” on his taxes before November, it is very obvious that he has been cutting corners for quite some time now. During the recent presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said that Donald Trump does not want the American people to know that he has paid nothing in Federal taxes. After writing off Clinton’s remark as an uneducated complaint, Trump failed to clarify the matter. However, if he truly had nothing to hide, these records would have most likely been released already in order to silence accusations and prevent any further damage. Trump also avoided the issue when asked what his tax rate was on ABC’s Good Morning America during an interview done in May. Trump claimed that it was none of the reporter’s business and that people will be able to see for themselves once the records were released (which they never were).
According to Democracy Now, The Daily Beast has also obtained evidence proving that Donald Trump did not pay his taxes and is refusing to release his tax records.
In a recent video interview, former New York Times reporter and current Daily Beast columnist David Cay Johnston claimed to have found two separate tax appeals filed by Donald Trump in 1984. Johnston claimed that in one of these cases, Donald Trump filed a schedule C (commonly filed by freelancers) while reporting zero income and over $620,000 of expenses with no receipts or documentation. It is also shown in those two cases that in 1984, Donald Trump paid no federal income taxes at all. During the hearing which lasted a total of two days, the CPA and lawyer who had done Trump’s tax returns for many years claimed that Trump had forged his signature via photo copy in order to legitimize the documents.
According to David Cay Johnston, if Donald Trump’s loss from his buildings is high enough, he would be allowed to use the offset income from other projects and obtain a zero interest loan from the government of his taxes. A USA Today column written by Johnston in March showed that if Trump’s numbers are truthful, he would stand to make about $130 million net profit off of his income taxes from a single year when the taxes themselves would have only been $23 million total. David Cay Johnston also suggested that if Congress were to add one line specifically to section 6103 of the tax code, all returns of presidential candidates could be made public by the internal revenue service.
Not only is this a possibility, it is something that has already happened throughout U.S. history.
Presidential candidates should have nothing to hide when it comes to taxes, which is why in the 1920’s, their tax returns were public records. Therefore, if the internal revenue service was directed to publicize the tax returns of major politicians, both Trump and Clinton would need to do so. Fortunately for the Democrats however, it was mentioned by Johnston that they have Hillary Clinton’s tax returns going back to the 1980’s. It was also shown that she once paid more than twice the amount of Federal Income taxes required by law.
In addition to the allegations Donald Trump is facing, it was recently reported that Trump’s children (Ivanka and Donald Junior) may be in trouble too.
According to allegations in a lawsuit unsealed by a judge in Manhattan, New York, Donald Trump’s licensed real-estate projects are part of a giant tax evasion scheme involving Donald, Donald Junior, and Ivanka Trump. The Daily Beast reported that Ivanka and Donald Junior were labeled material witnesses in an evasion of taxes on as much as $250 million in income after receiving payments from one of their father’s real-estate projects. This includes $100 million which was acquired in profits and more than $60 million in real estate transfer taxes from a Manhattan, New York based high rise project engraved with the family name. Witnesses say that Trump also received tens of millions of dollars in fees and partnership interests for another one of these projects, known as the Trump Soho in Manhattan, New York.
In my personal opinion and based off extensive research, Donald Trump has not chosen to release his tax statements due to the fact that he avoided paying them. Trump, who has admitted to fabricating certain numbers while under oath, has most likely danced around these accusations in hopes that they will pass while attempting to shift attention towards other issues.
Fun Fact: A recent Quinnipiac University poll which was released in late August states that more than 70% of likely voters believe Donald Trump should release his tax returns, and more than 60% of Republicans agreed. Former Republican candidate Mitt Romney and former Internal Revenue Service commissioner Fred Goldberg were in agreement as well.
Ryan Kurpess is an OpsLens Contributor
Democracy Now Interview with David Cay Johnston: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4chfgTiiSvE)