There were already many calls for Trump’s tax returns, but the hack of Democratic National Committee emails–revealing the Party’s bias against Bernie–has somehow underscored them. Hillary lost points even if she didn’t know what former Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was fomenting. Still, it happened to help Hillary, then Hillary happened to hire the same Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Even so, Trump also lost points with the odd logic that a Russian hack means we somehow need Trump’s tax returns even more. Releasing tax returns is a feature of every presidential election, of course. Well, up to now. Even Bernie dodged disclosing his for some time. His wife Jane said she would hand them over when Hillary released her speech transcripts. Still, Trump has set a new record. It is not legally required for candidates to release any tax returns. It is just traditional, which Trump is not.
The increasingly loud cries for Trump to hand over his tax returns could have the opposite impact. Besides, having Mitt Romney say that not releasing them is ‘disqualifying’ might help Trump, not hurt him. Political power brokers, operatives, and party officials of both parties don’t like Trump breaking with tradition. Yet it might add to Trump’s odd mystique. The fact that Hillary Clinton has mocked Trump seems to also help him. Getting Elizabeth Warren angry might help Trump too. Republicans in the House and Senate (and some Democrats) often do not agree with Warren’s politics.
One Trump interview said he did not plan to release his tax returns before the general election. Later, he said he would release the tax returns after his audit. But there seems little incentive for him to do it now, unless he could swap them for Hillary’s coveted speech transcripts. Between major Wall Street players, foreign governments and foreign companies, one can imagine they might contain some inconvenient comments. So maybe Trump should swap his returns for her speeches. Now there’s a deal.
There are long lists of Hillary Clinton scandals, of course. Still, the vortex surrounding her speeches remains a major one. The speech issue raises questions about what she said to whom, and at what price. She has stalled endlessly, and still has failed to release the transcripts. Mrs. Clinton’s stonewalling fuels more speculation. For example, imagine how Hillary’s speech to Goldman Sachs might read! That was just speculation.
But will we ever see the real one? Bill Clinton talked of real Hillary v. made-up Hillary. Speaking of made up, a former President and Secretary of State hobnobbing with foreign governments and corporate chieftains over U.S. policy issues? All on her private server? It almost sounds made up. Then, add the strange money flow that put the Clinton Foundation in the middle of a made-up sounding ‘pay me v. pay my foundation’ selectivity.
A fair number of wealthy people might be thinking about establishing their own foundations, particularly if they can pick which monies they want taxed to them, and which to their charities. Cushy private travel and other perks would be nice too. When founders get big salaries or other items that should be treated as income, the IRS calls it private inurement. Perhaps the IRS would care if the Tea Party were involved?
For alerts to future tax articles, email me at Wood@WoodLLP.com. This discussion is not legal advice.
via The Tax Lawyer http://ift.tt/29ZpWK6