Democratic presidential front- runner Hillary Clinton took a jibe at Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump for not releasing his tax returns, which would be a break from the decades-long precedent in the race to the White House.
“Here is what Donald Trump wants to do. He has released just one detailed proposal in this whole campaign,” Clinton said, referring to the real estate tycoon’s tax plan.
“What about his taxes? So we’ll get around to that, too, because when you run for president, especially when you become the nominee that is kind of expected,” she said at an election rally in Blackwood, New Jersey.
“My husband and I have released 33 years of tax returns. We got eight years on our website right now. So you got to ask yourself, why doesn’t he want to release them? Yeah, well, we’re going to find out,” said the former secretary of state, joining many others including the 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in asking Trump to release his tax returns.
In a post on his Facebook page, Romney said that not releasing one’s tax returns is “disqualifying” for a presidential candidate.
“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,” Romney said.
He said there is only one logical explanation for 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,” he said.
Trump quickly hit back, defending his decision not to release his tax returns unless the ongoing audit is completed.
“My taxes are under routine audit and I would release my tax returns when audit is complete, not after election,” he tweeted.
In February, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in a statement said there is nothing in law that prevents an individual from sharing their tax information.
“The IRS stresses that audits of tax returns are based on the information contained on the taxpayer’s return and the underlying tax law, nothing else. Politics and religion do not factor into this. The audit process is handled by career, non-partisan civil servants, and we have processes in place to safeguard the exam process,” said the agency.
Making tax returns public is not required of presidential candidates, but there is a long tradition of major party nominees doing so.