Donald Trump may be getting away with not releasing his tax returns at the moment. If he wants to run for office in 2020, however, he would be forced to disclose them.
The legislation requires candidates to submit five years worth of tax returns.
In New Jersey, lawmakers have passed a legislation that would require future candidates to make such a disclosure. In fact, candidates running for president and vice president would be required to share tax returns for five recent years prior to the election.
Trump was the first presidential candidate to break the tradition of releasing tax returns. When asked about it, he had said he could not disclose it as he was undergoing an audit. He also continued to refuse to disclose them throughout his presidential campaign. Meanwhile, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had famously claimed that Trump did not pay his taxes.
Trump’s decision not release his tax returns has inspired the new legislation. However, a copy of Trump’s tax returns from 2005 reveals he has paid his taxes in the past. During the said year, he paid $38 million in taxes after declaring $150 million in income.
McKeon: The legislation is for the sake of national security and transparency.
According to Democrat John McKeon, the bill’s sponsor, the new legislation would ensure that the future elected President “does not have major financial conflicts with foreign entities.” McKeon further urged, “This is an issue of national security as well as transparency.”
Other states making similar legislations.
New Jersey is not the only state pushing for future presidential candidates to disclose tax returns. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, other states introducing similar legislations include Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.
If approved, New Jersey would become the first state to have such a legislation. However, according to a report from NorthJersey.com, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has refused to comment on the legislation. Nonetheless, McKeon told him, “The ball is in your court.”