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The IRS Putting Trump's Tax Returns In A Safe

by Countable | 11.16.17

What’s the story?

President Trump is the first president in 40 years not to publicly release his tax returns, which is his right under law. Older returns have been leaked to the press, however. To protect his other returns from staff who might be tempted to leak copies to the press, which would be a federal offense, the IRS is taking steps to lock them down.

The returns, which are already in a secure location, are now going in a safe.

Why does it matter?

There is no law currently requiring presidents or presidential candidates to release their tax returns, though the practice had become common until President Trump. Several states, including California and Massachusetts have attempted to pass such legislation, but not been successful.

The practice of presidents publicly releasing their tax returns allows citizens to see not only the president’s net worth, but also where he has financial ties that might create conflicts of interest.

Since the presidential campaign Trump has refused to release his tax returns, insisting that he is under audit. A 2005 return was leaked to the press, but any other leaks, particularly from the IRS, are highly unlikely, said John Koskinen, IRS Commissioner, to Politico:

" [Trump’s returns are] in a locked cabinet in a locked room that nobody’s in. You’ll need a key to the room and the cabinet to get it. We’re in the process of turning that cabinet into a safe. We keep all the returns from every president in there.”

Koskinen also maintains that he has not seen the returns, nor has anyone without direct filing or audit authority, a privilege that the IRS takes very, very seriously:

"I had no authority to look at anybody’s returns. Nobody can, unless you’re authorized for the process of examination. I couldn’t look at my own return. Anyone who looks at anyone’s return is subject to termination. We take this stuff seriously. Everyone’s aware of the history of the Nixon enemies list. No individual employee can even select a return for audit; we get automated referrals, and they go straight to a committee.”

No word on whether any of President Trump’s tax accountants also maintain safes to protect his returns, but it sounds like the IRS has got them locked up tightly.

What do you think?

Should President Trump release his tax returns? Why or why not? Do you support legislation that would require all presidential candidates by law to release their tax returns?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Pixabay / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(75)
  • KenBudris
    11/16/2017
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    I honestly don’t believe that anything in Donald Trump’s tax returns would change anyone’s opinion regarding his personal character or his suitability to hold the office of President. There’s already enough public information to prove that he is woefully unfit. His refusal to release his tax returns is just one of the many ways that Mr. Trump has made it clear he has no intention of answering to the American people for anything. Of all my many misgivings regarding Donald Trump as president, his complete lack of accountability is by far my greatest. He has missed the point of our democracy. President Trump is NOT the big boss. He is merely the CEO, and must answer to We, the stockholders.

    Like (35)
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  • Randall
    11/16/2017
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    He said multiple times he would release him. Campaign promise broken.

    Like (21)
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  • Stephanie
    11/16/2017
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    President Trump should have no problem releasing his tax returns. This states to me you have something to hide.

    Like (20)
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  • Claudia
    11/16/2017
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    He is under no legal obligation to release them, however not doing so just makes people wonder what he is hiding!

    Like (15)
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  • Rowanba
    11/16/2017
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    I think it is incredible how the present administration protects this president! This is an insult to the citizens of the United States!

    Like (13)
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  • Mary
    11/16/2017
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    If he had nothing to hide he would have already released them.

    Like (10)
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  • Diane
    11/16/2017
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    This is another outrage & corrupt cover up for a crime family. Trumps tax records should b under investigation, not hidden! Corruption, conspiracy, cover up!! This is a very dangerous road the republicans continue to travel & is hurting all of us.

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  • Joanne
    11/16/2017
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    All presidential candidates should release their tax returns. It is how I here are checks and balances in our political system. If there is nothing to hide, what's the problem? As for "it's not my business".. it will be when I pay more in taxes and the highest earners ans wealthiest pay less.

    Like (8)
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  • Zach
    11/16/2017
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    President Trump should be held to the same standard as every president in the past 40 years. In my opinion, a prerequisite for the tax plan should be to examine Trumps and explore any future benefits to him specifically from this legislation. Please make it law to post Tax Returns of people trying to make the tax law in our country.

    Like (8)
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  • Brian
    11/16/2017
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    In due time his lies will be exposed

    Like (6)
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  • Azrael
    11/16/2017
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    Make it part of the job Show your returns or find another job I don’t know about anyone else but I’m tired of this whole 💩Show Smoke and mirrors everywhere Keep your eyes on the ball Russia is running our elections and now our White House

    Like (5)
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  • Countryfirst
    11/16/2017
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    Release the taxes and lock up the real criminal TRUMP!

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  • Donna
    11/16/2017
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    This is just another example of the march toward a non-responsive, opaque government in this country. Democracy depends on an open and semi-honest government -- not an administration that refuses to divest itself from any real or perceived conflicts of interest, release the visitor logs from the DC and 'winter' White House (is that really a thing?), answer any questions from reporters deemed intrusive, tell the truth or cares about any hint of impropriety when lobbying for a tax cut that will obviously benefit itself and its wall street cronies. If this is what draining the swamp looks like, get me a fire hose and turn up the water pressure. It is time to put these swamp things back where they belong. The only thing being drained these days is trust in our government and the money in our wallets.

    Like (4)
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  • Kathy
    11/16/2017
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    Since he's already under impeachment procedures for breaking the emoluments Clause how do we know how much he's really breaking the emollients clause when he won't share taxes.. and now you want to further protect him by putting his files in a safe... Hell no

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  • Truly
    11/16/2017
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    How about if all the people who actually pay taxes hold them until his returns are released? He is a criminal, his taxes will just be another bar in the cell he deserves.

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  • Grace
    11/16/2017
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    Passing a new tax plan that gives huge bonuses to corporations and the most wealthy individuals while locking up the presidents own tax forms is criminal. What is he hiding and why isn't the house asking them s question?

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  • Karen
    11/16/2017
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    Trump spent six years saying he’d have no problem releasing his returns, and even scolded a fellow Republican candidate for waiting too long to do so. No surprise that he lied. I do think he should repay taxpayers the wages of the employee who had to “lock his returns up.” Maybe that can be Trumps next insane rallying call?

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  • Pam
    11/17/2017
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    What is trump hiding? Not to worry, Mueller already knows and soon, so will we.

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  • Patricia
    11/16/2017
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    My interpretation is that he and his family are hiding a large amount of illegal and nasty stuff.

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  • Linda
    11/17/2017
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    Another very provable lie from Trump to the American people. Good news is that the stares can create laws that require primary contenders release taxes in order to be on the ballot. That's where corrupt people like Trump can and should be stopped in future elections.

    Like (3)
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