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Donald Trump on His Taxes: “None of your business!”

May 16, 2016
Plain English Version
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Donald Trump does not want to tell people how much he pays in taxes. Four years ago, he said candidates should tell the people how much they pay. He has changed his mind.

What are his reasons? He recently told a broadcaster that his taxes are “none of your business.” He says the government is auditing his returns. The government will not reveal whether it is or is not. It does say an audit is no reason not to disclose the information if a person wants to.

There is no law that says a person running for office has to disclose his taxes. It is a custom in America to do so. No one can make Mr. Trump do it.

Mr. Trump says he is worth more than ten billion dollars. Some experts say the actual amount is much less. Tax returns are about your income. They are not about your wealth. But they do provide a good idea of a person’s total worth. Maybe Mr. Trump does not want people to know he is not as rich as he has said.

Mr. Trump says he gives a lot of money to charity. One of his financial reports showed that a lot of his charity was in the form of golf rounds at his clubs.

Another issue is his tax bracket. Rich people try to use the tax code for their own benefit. They try to lower the rate or percentage of income they pay in taxes as much as they can. Most people who only have salaries cannot take advantage of the tax code. Mr. Trump may pay little in taxes by using the tax code rules for his benefit.

Not as rich, not as generous as he says? The pressure on him to release his taxes will not let up.

Source: The New York Times May 13, 2016

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