Newspaper article News Sentinel

IRS: Audit No Obstacle to Release Tax Returns

Newspaper article News Sentinel

IRS: Audit No Obstacle to Release Tax Returns

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump says he would like to release his tax returns to the public, but just can't.

"I'm being audited now for two or three years, so I can't do it until the audit is finished, obviously. And I think people would understand that," the Republican front-runner said at Thursday night's Republican debate in Houston.

The Internal Revenue Service and tax experts, though, say he can.

"Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information," IRS spokesman Anthony Burke said in an email.

Audits aren't out of the norm for someone with Trump's wealth, legal experts say, and there's nothing to stop Trump from making his returns public.

"He's not legally prevented from disclosing tax returns publicly. There's no prohibition on that," said Georgetown University tax law and policy professor John Brooks.

"He probably just doesn't want to," Brooks said.

The issue became a focal point this week when 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who himself initially refused to release his tax returns, suggested there is a "bombshell" in Trump's taxes and called on the candidate to make them public.

Trump hit back at Romney, saying the criticism was irrelevant since "you don't learn anything from a tax return."

"The phrase 'you don't learn anything' is false," said Stanford tax law professor Joseph Bankman. …

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