Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Monday to stop filing his tax returns with House committees.
Trump’s latest ploy comes days after a federal appeals court refused to delay the release of his tax returns to the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee.
Mr Trump made an urgent request to the Supreme Court, saying “no Congress has ever exercised its legislative power to demand the president’s tax returns.”
By refusing to release his past tax records, Trump broke with the recent tradition of presidents and presidential candidates, claiming he cannot release his tax returns because he is being audited. He can release them even during an audit. He has also repeatedly claimed that tax returns provide little financial information.
Despite Mr. Trump’s repeated attempts over the years to keep his tax returns private, a simple question arises. Why. And there are some potential reasons that come to mind.
1) Trump may not be as rich as he says. Shortly after Trump ran for president in 2015, he said his fortune exceeded $10 billion. Forbes estimated that his net worth was less than half that year. Trump seems to be using his claim that his own wealth has become unusually high as evidence that he is smarter (and better) than most people. It’s very likely that the release of his tax returns will deflate the balloon Trump has been inflating all his adult life.
2) He may not (or may not) have paid his fair share of the tax. his claim That he pays “a lot”. Thanks to a report in The New York Times, we now know that Trump paid zero federal taxes for 11 of the 18 years of earnings the publication was able to obtain. In 2017, even in his first year as president, Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes. The Times estimates that “Trump paid about $400 million less in combined federal income taxes than the very wealthy who paid the average for that group each year.”
3) $73 million refundWe learned from The Times report that Trump filed for a $72.9 million tax refund in 2010 (at the time he claimed heavy losses widely attributed to the decline of his Atlantic City casino). rice field). Refunds for 2011, which were still ongoing in 2020.
4) Trump may have loans to foreign countries and individualsThrough congressional testimony from Trump’s former best friend Michael Cohen, we know the former president was heavily involved in the potential construction of Trump Tower Moscow. And that Cohen lied about his involvement (and how long it’s been) to protect Trump.Donald Trump Jr. reportedly said at a 2008 real estate conference: I’m here. In Dubai, of course Soho or New York anywhere with our projects. “There’s a lot of money coming in from Russia,” he said.
5) He may donate very little (or nothing) to charity.Trump has long used his charity not for charitable purposes, but to feed his nest and gather political information. (Trump closed the charity in 2018.) It’s not at all clear how generous (if ever) Trump has been to other charities over the past few decades. You don’t have to, but many people do. So it would clearly be a bad look for Trump if his repeated allegations that he donated large sums to charity appear to be false.
For whatever reason, or whatever the reason, it’s been clear over the past seven years that Trump is utterly adamant about keeping his returns private. I will – still.