For the better part of a year, the Trump campaign has refused to release GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s personal tax returns, claiming the Republican nominee is under audit.
While the IRS has said an audit does not prevent the publishing of tax documents, people are questioning if Trump is actually under audit.
The IRS sent taxpayers who are under audit a letter informing them of that status, CBS News reports. The letter states: "Your federal income tax return for the year shown above has been selected for examination. We examine tax returns to verify the correctness of income, deductions, exemptions, and credits.”
However, four separate emails from CBS to the Trump campaign asking for this IRS letter went unanswered. In addition, Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the campaign, pointed instead to a letter written by Trump’s tax attorneys Sheri Dillon and William Nelson.
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The letter notes that Trump’s “inordinately large and complex” filings have been “under continuous examination” since 2002. The letter says the returns from 2002 to 2008 have been “closed administratively," but that the audits from “2009 year and forward are ongoing.”
It is also unclear if Trump’s 2015 returns would have been flagged for audit by March 2016, when the attorneys’ letter is dated.
Speaking with CNN on Oct. 5, Jason Miller, press secretary for Trump, was asked about the audit letter.
“Mr. Trump has made very clear that he’s under audit, and those paperworks (sic) will go back to the lawyers and the accountants...” Miller began, according to CBS News.
When asked to provide any evidence of an audit, Miller added, “Well, I’ll leave that to the lawyers and the accountants as far as what exactly is public and what exactly is private.”
Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton has repeatedly attacked Trump’s lack of transparency over his taxes.
“Why won't he release his tax returns?” Clinton asked during the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, notes NPR. She continued:
And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he is not as rich as he says he has. Second, maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be. Third, we don't know all of his business dealings but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about six hundred and fifty million dollars to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he does not want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he has paid nothing in federal taxes because the only years that anybody has ever seen for a couple of years where he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license. And they showed he did not pay any federal income tax.
Trump quickly responded with, “That makes me smart.”