POLITICS
01/04/2017 09:49 pm ET

Senate Democrats Would Like To Remind You That Donald Trump Still Hasn't Released His Tax Returns

They reintroduced a bill that would require Trump and future presidential nominees to disclose tax information.

WASHINGTON ― A group of Democratic senators on Wednesday reintroduced legislation that would require President-elect Donald Trump to release his tax returns, a practice of most candidates for elected office that Trump repeatedly ducked during his presidential campaign.

The Presidential Tax Transparency Act, sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), would mandate that sitting presidents and presidential candidates disclose at least three years of tax information. The bill was first offered in May during the previous session of Congress, where it failed to advance.

“The fact that the president-elect refuses to release his tax returns is a tragic failure of transparency, and it needs to be corrected,” Wyden said in a press release. “With President-Elect Trump flouting bipartisan traditions of disclosure while engaging with foreign leaders at the highest level, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the Commander-in-Chief isn’t playing by a different set of rules.”

A group of Democratic senators, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), wants President-elect Donald Trump to release his tax returns
Bill Clark via Getty Images
A group of Democratic senators, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), wants President-elect Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

Trump repeatedly refused to disclose his tax information during his campaign, claiming he was under an IRS audit. However, the IRS affirmed “nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.” President Richard Nixon released his tax information while under audit.

Democrats accused Trump of attempting to avoid scrutiny and accountability.

Despite his boasts of business success, Trump has a checkered financial history that includes as many as six bankruptciesworkers’ claims of being stiffed and lies about charitable donations.

Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns makes him the first presidential nominee since Gerald Ford to skirt the practice.

Trump bragged that his tax evasion "makes me smart."
Carlo Allegri / Reuters
Trump bragged that his tax evasion "makes me smart."

The New York Times reported in October that Trump may not have paid federal taxes for nearly two decades and resorted to an elaborate and legally questionable tax loophole. During a presidential debate, Trump admitted that he took a large tax deduction, bragging that his tax evasion “makes me smart.”

Since the election, Trump has faced renewed scrutiny over his business conflicts of interest and has evaded questions about how he would resolve them as president.

Legislators in several predominantly Democratic states have introduced legislation similar to the federal measure that would require presidential candidates to disclose their tax information in order to appear on the ballot. New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D) called his bill the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public, or TRUMP, Act.

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