Mitt Romney has recently suggested that Donald Trump will have a “bombshell” to explain in relation to his taxes.
Romney believes that since Trump has not released his tax records is an indication that something is askew. What is the problem? Why hasn’t Donald Trump released his tax records? We asked Ian Leaf, tax expert, what he thinks.
Releasing your tax records can pose an interesting dilemma. If there is nothing to hide and nothing wrong, why not release? That’s often what people say and what people think. The problem with that thinking is two-fold.
- What if “privacy” means more to one person than the other?
- What if there is something unrelated to becoming president a candidate doesn’t want everyone knowing?
I think the expectation we have is that someone running our country has no secrets and they definitely do have secrets. What those secrets are, and how much of an impact they play we may never know. Taxes are not just numbers, they are houses, expenses, labor, friends, dealings, investments, failures and even secrets themselves. I once talked with a man who was a very large real estate developer. He told me a tale about his many different LLC and real estate holding companies in his country. His goal was to avoid detection by his competitors. When we discussed opening his tax returns, he explained his fear would be competitors undercutting everything that he has built. He has a couple of very hot markets and the more people in those markets, the less profit he will make. That’s just one reason why someone might not want to pull back the curtains.
Beyond the mere fact that he isn’t releasing his taxes, do you think there is any merit to Trump not releasing his tax returns for general public consumption?
This post was exactly 300 words, before I typed this sentence at least.