Donald Trump has said numerous times that his tax returns don’t tell the whole story of his finances. Yet he probably exaggerates when he says “there’s nothing to learn from them.” Mitt Romney, criticizing Trump’s reluctance to release the forms, implied they might reveal “a potential for hidden inappropriate associations with… criminal organizations or other unsavory groups.” That kind of assertion probably plays in Trump’s favor. If he has associations with criminal orgs, it’s probably not on page one of his tax returns. Still Romney insists there must be a “bombshell” in the Trump tax documents, waiting to explode.
But what could be on Trump’s tax info that is of interest to American voters — even if there is no “bombshell”?
- Whether Trump is really as rich as he says. Since his wealth is a key factor in his appeal, it’s worth knowing how credible his claims to billions are. He’s definitely rich, but tax docs (without telling the whole story) will give an indication of just how rich.
- Whether he really gives to charity — and how much.
- Whether he uses overseas tax havens to shelter income from US taxes.
- Whether he told the truth about how much he was paid for Celebrity Apprentice. (He’s said $213 million.)
- Which of the companies that bear the Trump name (and make him famous) actually compensate Trump — from Trump Steaks to Trump Place.
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