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General News    H2'ed 5/3/19

If He Doesn't Release His Taxes, Trump Might Not Be On The Ballot

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Tax Return Protester

One way to prevent Donald Trump from getting re-elected is to ensure he isn't on the ballot.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 25 states are considering legislation requiring presidential and vice-presidential candidates release their tax returns in order to appear on primary or general election ballots.

New Jersey state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a co-sponsor of the bill in her state, asserted:

"It is so obvious with this president that had voters known some of what seem to be his business interests, he may not have been elected president."

NCSL policy specialist, Dan Diorio, said:

"Nearly every bill has been introduced by Democrats, in reaction to President Donald Trump's refusal to release his tax returns as per the custom of previous presidential candidates."

Washington state Senate passed a bill last month requiring candidates to release five years of returns before they could appear on the state's primary or general election ballot.

Every major party candidate for president since 1980 has released his and her tax returns despite there being no federal law requiring it.

Joseph J. Thorndike, director of the Tax Analysts' Tax History Project, stated:

"Every other major party nominee since then has released complete tax returns: not just summaries, not just a Form 1040, but the whole thing. That's been standard practice and that's what voters have come to expect."

The Internal Revenue Service Manual confirms most presidents since the 1970s have released their returns despite presidents and vice presidents being automatically subject to annual audits.

What is a law, though, is that which permits the House Ways and Means Committee to formally demand the IRS submit to Congress tax returns of any American--including the president.

This is what House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal did twice last month, demanding IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig release six years of Trump's tax returns by 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 23.

Both times, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued to violate the law by refusing to comply.

States considering legislation requiring candidates release their tax returns might be a logistical key.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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