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When Did It Become Normal For U.S. Presidents To Show Citizens Their Tax Returns?

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When Did It Become Normal For U.S. Presidents To Show Citizens Their Tax Returns?

With Tax Day just around the corner, critics of President Donald Trump are taking the opportunity to once again bash the president for not voluntarily releasing his income tax forms to the public. Thousands of Americans have called for Trump to reveal his taxes, which could shed some light on potential conflicts of interest with foreign countries in which Trump’s businesses operate.

Trump, however, has said he has no plans to release his tax forms, making him the first president in 40 years to keep his taxes private.

“The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns,” spokesperson Kellyanne Conway said back in January. “We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care.”

Is He Allowed To Do That? Well, Yes.

Trump is certainly free to do so if he chooses, and there is no law requiring U.S. presidents to release their taxes. In fact, publicizing tax filings has only been a custom in the United States since Richard Nixon released his tax returns in 1973 during the backlash of the Watergate Scandal. Since Nixon, Gerald Ford is the only president not to release his tax forms. Ford instead provided a public summary of a decade of his past tax data.

Although the American people will not be able to hold Trump accountable for what’s in his tax documents, the IRS certainly will. The IRS performs mandatory tax audits of all U.S. presidents while they’re in office.

Related Links:

How Your Taxes Will Be Different Next Year, And Why You'll Have Trump To Thank

Trump Has No Excuse For Not Releasing His 2016 Tax Return _______ Image Credit:By Mike Licht from Washington, DC, USA (Tax March April 15, 2017, U.S. Capitol) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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