Every presidential nominee for each political party dating back four decades has released their tax returns to the public. Unconventional Donald Trump, the 2016 presumptive GOP nominee, is refusing to do so. For months on the campaign trail, Trump has claimed ongoing IRS audits prohibit him from release his tax returns.
Tax experts have repeatedly stated Trump isn't prevented from releasing his returns while under audit and there is no IRS rule or law preventing him from doing so. In fact, while under audit in 1973 and under investigation for Watergate, President Richard Nixon released his tax returns.
Now, former GOP presidential nominee and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is calling Trump's refusal to release his tax returns "disqualifying."
"It is disqualifying for a modern-day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters, especially one who has not been subject to public scrutiny in either military or public service. Tax returns provide the public with its sole confirmation of the veracity of a candidate's representations regarding charities, priorities, wealth, tax conformance, and conflicts of interest. Further, while not a likely circumstance, the potential for hidden inappropriate associations with foreign entities, criminal organizations, or other unsavory groups is simply too great a risk to ignore for someone who is seeking to become commander-in-chief," Romney wrote Wednesday in a Facebook post. "Mr. Trump says he is being audited. So? There is nothing that prevents releasing tax returns that are being audited. Further, he could release returns for the years immediately prior to the years under audit. There is only one logical explanation for Mr. Trump's refusal to release his returns: there is a bombshell in them. Given Mr. Trump's equanimity with other flaws in his history, we can only assume it's a bombshell of unusual size."
"Anticipating inquiries regarding my own tax release history, I released my 2010 tax returns in January of 2012 and I released my 2011 tax returns as soon as they were completed, in September of 2012," Romney continued.
Democrat presidential candidate and likely Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton has released her tax returns in full dating back a decade. They can be viewed on her campaign website.