It’s well known that Donald Trump has broken decades of precedent in not releasing his tax returns to the public. Now, NBC News has discovered that the President has not even completed his returns for 2016 and instead has filed for an extension.
JUST IN: White House officials say President Trump filed for an extension for his 2016 tax returns. via @kristindonnelly
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 3, 2017
The interest in Trump’s tax returns stems not just from the fact that every President since Harry Truman has released their returns to the public, but from what his taxes might reveal about his financial ties to Russia, currently under investigation by a special prosecutor.
Trump and his staff have given a multitude of excuses for not releasing his returns from prior years, including that he couldn’t because he was still under audit, that no one cares about them except reporters, and that he’s released more financial disclosure than anyone else. (For the record: false, false, and false.)
He has said that he would release them once the audit was complete, his Treasury Secretary has said that he will never release them, and he has had his lawyers send a letter saying that the returns would show no income from Russia “with a few exceptions.”
By holding off on even filing his 2016 returns, Trump has now kicked the can down the road for learning what his finances looked like in the middle of the presidential campaign, at least until the October 15th filing deadline.
One does have to wonder, however, why a man with access to all the acounting help a wealthy person could afford would need additional time to prepare his tax returns. Is it that they are just so complicated? Or was it a deliberate decision to prevent anything from leaking? We may never know, unless that special prosecutor happens to see fit to subpoena Trump’s accountants to get to the bottom of this story.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.