Wouldn't Trumps past returns provide the info?

Since Donald Trump has been audited many times over the past years and those audits are done and over with, wouldn’t a look at, say, last year’s tax returns still provide the information that many people are seeking? Why is there such an obsession with just this years’ return?

I think many people would be happy if he released any returns at all.

As I understand Trump’s claim, all of his recent returns are being audited.

Trump has declined to release the past returns that are not being audited.

The flaw in you statement is that you assume that Trump wants to prove he is telling the truth about his wealth, gifts to charities and amount of taxes paid. It’s just not how chooses to play the game, he likes to keep an air of mystique. It’s not a conventional strategy but then Trump prides himself in being unconventional, it defines who he is. I really doubt that we will see them before the election and afterwards he will just say it’s none of your business anymore, move on, nothing to see here, I don’t talk about that anymore.

I think thisis a pretty good overview of the issues, albiet from a fairly anti-trump stance.

So, does trump need to release his actual tax returns?

In this, I mean, could he just make a bunch of stuff up for the public. Would the IRS be allowed to say that those are not the returns he gave them, or would they somehow consider the publicly released ones relevant to their audit, and audit the info in them?

What would the consequences of him falsifying is returns that he makes public?

He has no legal obligation to release anything. I don’t think anyone would settle for less than the actual documents at this point. If he went for full out forgery bluff… well, that would certainly be a risky strategy. Hard to see why he would do that instead of continuing to simply refuse.

I am just wondering what the chances of him being caught doing that would be. I assume that the IRS returns are privileged info, so the IRS couldn’t just release them without his permission (or even with, probably), but could they make public that the returns released, and the returns received are not the same?

If caught, I doubt that there would be any legal consequence, and probably not much political either, what’s left of his base are devoted enough to him that if the IRS (or anyone) reported a discrepancy, I am sure they would think it’s all lies to discredit.

Not that I am all that fair myself, there is nothing in his tax returns, real or fake, that would get me to vote for him.

I don’t know. Seems to me that if he claims something is an official IRS document and it isn’t, the IRS has a duty to say that. He’s forging an official document. Probably some law against that… but I dunno.

You, or your tax preparer, has to sign your tax returns stating that they are complete and accurate under penalty of law/governmental anal probing. So if Trump were to have submitted one 1040 in 2010 to the IRS and then he publicly released a different copy of his 2010 1040, both of them signed, then I assume he, or his tax preparer, might get in trouble. They can’t both be accurate.

I don’t know what would happen if he instead published some kind of “summary” of his taxes (basically something other than the official forms properly signed).

It’s only forgery if he turns a falsified document into the IRS. If he were to present a watered down version of his tax return to the public he would have to make it clear it wasn’t the real one that he filed or there would be potential political fallout. Not that political fallout is something he has cared about before. At this point a watered down unofficial version of his tax return means nothing, didn’t Romney try that?

I suspect there’s a lot in them that would turn current supporters off - like being far less rich than he pretends, being far less successful than many businessmen/moguls, questionable sources of income, and little if any giving to charity. IOW, a complete exposure of the facade he claims for himself and some clearly believe.

Well anything in his tax return that suggested that is just because it’s rigged, I tell ya, rigged.

There is a meme, attributed to conservative-minded people, that “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear. What are people worried about? What is the problem? Are you doing something you’re not supposed to?”

Trump has publicly stated if he released his returns it would hurt him in the election.

Seems to me that attributed conservative meme is biting him in the butt. It remains to be seen how much the voters agree.

Again speaking from ignorance… I don’t think that’s true. If he presents forged documents as if they were official IRS documents to anyone else, than he would be misrepresenting official government documents… that can’t be legit.

Recent reports came out corroborated by several involved that when he was the subject of a Comedy Central roast the only subject that was off limits was to suggest he was worth less than he says he is. Making jokes about him being sexually obsessed with his own daughter were fine.

If he presented false documents as official for some contractual item (getting a loan, for instance), then that would be fraud.

Since there is no requirement to release anything when running for president, he can do what he wants. It won’t get him in legal trouble, and morally I don’t think he cares.

Further, if the theory that his returns would reveal him to be not so rich and not so generous are true - he is already lying to the voters. Lying with paper isn’t really an different.

Was just about to say the same thing, he wouldn’t be using the forged documents as a requirement to secure some sort of financial gain since it is not a requirement to submit them as a candidate for POTUS. Not even sure the IRS would comment if they didn’t match since there is no plaintiff to file a complaint. His judgement would come from the press if they found out he claimed to give to a charity and it turned out to be false, then the IRS may take an interest if he is publicly contradicting what he filed with them.

The last thing Trump would want is a paper document showing that he is exaggerating or lying, it’s not in his interest to provide facts and it would only provides his distractors with ammunition to attack him.

Another possible reason he might not want to release them is left out: having the whole population of tax experts see them might bring out suggestions to the IRS of how to dispute various arcane points they hadn’t disputed before. It could conceivably also bring out testimony of individuals that transactions related to them which appear on the returns aren’t being correctly reported. But the first one would almost surely be true to some degree. As the article says, The Trump Organization/DJT returns are a level or levels more complicated than even somebody like Romney. Somebody among the hoard of tax experts curious to go over them would very probably question the IRS’ lack of questioning some particular points and be able to support their argument at least enough for the IRS to come under intense political pressure to follow up.

It would even apply to the pre 2009 returns now ‘closed’ by the IRS, in what they suggest about the 2009 and later returns still under audit.

Why would Trump care about something like that if there’s nothing really sinister, just some more IRS hassle and maybe a relatively small amount of extra tax? That’s Trump, same guy who is careful to steer campaign spending on events to his own related companies when possible to recover a few bucks no matter how tacky that looks, when he’s probably worth a few $bil (if not the $10bil+ he claims).

I’m not saying this is the only reason. There’s probably at least mildly embarrassing things otherwise: unseemly low tax rate, low charitable contributions, fodder to estimate his net worth far below the $10bil, etc. And maybe there’s really damaging stuff, who knows? But you have ask practically politically, trying to be as objective as possible: is it really going to help him get elected to release those returns now even assuming they only contain minor embarrassments? If not, he really shouldn’t from his POV (a lot of the people insisting he should would never vote for him anyway).