As far back as 2011, Donald Trump offered to release his federal individual tax returns to the American public even though tax returns are a private issue and laypeople are never expected to share their tax returns with others, taking exception only to requests from the Internal Revenue Service, law enforcement agencies, or prospective employers.
Although laypeople don’t reveal their tax returns to others, especially to the public at large, presidential candidates in the United States have long released at least one of their recent tax returns to the American public. As a matter of fact, since 1976, every single major political party candidate has released one or more recent tax return to the public except for Gerald Ford, the nomination for president by the Republican Party in the 1976 United States presidential election.
One of the most important reasons why all major political parties’ presidential candidates release their tax returns dates back to the days of President Richard Nixon. The 37th president, who held office from 1969 to 1975, resigned in the beginning of his second term amid the infamous Watergate scandal.
As part of what unfolded as a result of the Watergate scandal, the American public found out that Richard Nixon had, in fact, manipulated his tax returns to keep from paying some $500,000 in federal taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. Nixon was able to avoid paying so much money to the IRS by reporting a litany of oh-so-questionable deductions on four consecutive years’ worth of tax deductions.
These deductions came in the form of donating upward of 1,000 boxes’ worth of documents to the United States National Archives. The documents weren’t worth anywhere near a half a million dollars, without question.
Since then, people running for presidential office in the United States have openly pumped out their tax returns to the American public.
A brand-spanking-new law passed by the California State Legislature a few weeks ago went into effect today, on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, will force President Trump to submit at least five years’ worth of personal tax returns to the California state government in order to find his way onto the primary presidential ballot in the state of California for the upcoming presidential election. Trump, as well as all other presidential candidates who hope to be on the primary ballot in the state of California for the 2020 presidential election, will have to submit these returns by the end of November.