Leon pointed out earlier today that Donald Trump is more that a little unclear about what judges are and what they actually do. As it turns out, that isn't all Trump is unclear on. Taxes are another.
TRUMP: All right. First of all, let me just explain. I was the first one to file a financial disclosure form -- almost 100 pages. You don't learn anything about somebody's wealth with a tax return. You learn it from statements.
Not entirely true, unless you are Al Sharpton who allegedly doesn't even own his own suits. Income tax returns don't tell you about "wealth", per se, but "statements" don't necessarily tell you about "income" either.
Back to Trump:
TRUMP: As far as my return, I want to file it, except for many years, I've been audited every year. Twelve years, or something like that. Every year they audit me, audit me, audit me.
Nobody gets audited -- I have friends that are very wealthy people. They never get audited. I get audited every year. I will absolutely give my return, but I'm being audited now for two or three years, so I can't do it until the audit is finished, obviously. And I think people would understand that.
How can that be? Audited every year for twelve years sounds fishy:
Donald Trump’s disclosure that his tax returns have been under review by the Internal Revenue Service for the past 12 years reflects a “very unusual” level of scrutiny by tax authorities, according to a former Internal Revenue Service agent who now works as an accountant for wealthy people.
“He signed his name to a return in which the IRS is finding problems for the past 12 years,” said Alan Olsen, the managing partner of Greenstein Rogoff Olsen & Co. LLP, an accounting firm in Fremont and Palo Alto, California that caters to wealthy Silicon Valley clients.
Olsen said that Trump’s revelation about 12 years of audits is something of a bombshell itself. “If the IRS examines your tax return and finds no issues they will not audit your return again for two years,” he said. “If returns are properly prepared, the IRS typically goes away.”
And the second part is 100% bullsh**. Your tax returns are yours. You can tattoo them on a hooker's ass if you want to.
The IRS released a statement Friday saying that “audits of tax returns are based on the information contained on the taxpayer’s return and the underlying tax law -- nothing else.”
“Politics and religion do not factor into this,” the agency said in the e-mailed statement. “The audit process is handled by career, non-partisan civil servants, and we have processes in place to safeguard the exam process.”
Federal privacy rules prohibit the agency from discussing individual tax matters, according to the statement, but “nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.”
Fine, I'll concede that part of the IRS statement is a semi-transparent lie. For eight years politics have featured in IRS decisions of all types. But the fact is that the law prevents the federal government from releasing taxpayer information. It can't prevent the taxpayer from releasing their own information.
And this morning we have this again:
Just for your info, tax returns have 0 to do w/ someone’s net worth. I have already filed my financial statements w/ FEC. They are great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2016
From the way Trump keeps harping on "net worth" and keeps studiously ignoring "net income" I am willing to hazard a guess at the "bombshell" lurking in the returns... to the extent there is one. I will bet that Trump's income is only marginally capable of supporting his debt load. And when his creditors get a look at his tax return they are going to collectively soil themselves.