New polling indicates that most U.S. voters want Republican nominee Donald Trump to release his tax returns. The business mogul has refused to do so, citing that they are currently being audited, bucking decades of campaign precedent.
On Aug. 29, a new Monmouth University survey found that 62 percent of likely voters believe that it is either very important or at least somewhat important that presidential candidates disclose their tax returns, Time magazine reports.
Of those polled, 36 percent do not view the issue as important. Of those who identify as supporters of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, 54 percent believe that tax return transparency is very important.
Trump has refused to disclose his tax returns, asserting that he is currently under audit by the Internal Revenue Service. All major party nominees have disclosed their tax returns before a November election for the last four decades.
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Of those polled, 72 percent were aware the GOP nominee had yet to release his tax returns while only 56 percent of respondents knew that Clinton had already released hers.
On Aug. 12, Clinton disclosed her and former President Bill Clinton’s joint 2015 tax return, revealing that the couple had made $10.6 million in income that year while paying a 34 percent tax rate and donating roughly 10 percent to charity, USA Today reports.
Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director of the Clinton campaign, released a statement blasting Trump for not disclosing his tax returns.
“He has failed to provide the public with the most basic financial information disclosed by every major candidate in the last 40 years,” Palmieri said. “What is he trying to hide?”
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In the Monmouth University poll, 52 percent of respondents believe that Trump is declining the release his tax returns because he is attempting to hide unflattering details. Only 24 percent of respondents take the GOP nominee at his word that he simply cannot release the returns while under audit.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has dismissed the assertion that Trump cannot disclose his returns under audit, The Huffington Post reports.
“If you’re being audited, and you want to do something else, share that information with your returns, you can do that,” Koskinen said in February 2016.
Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has agreed that the GOP nominee should release his returns for the public.
“If you’re going to run and try to become the president of the United States, you’re going to have to open up your kimono and show everything, your tax returns, your medical records,” Chaffetz said.
On Aug. 21, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway dismissed the controversy over the GOP nominee’s taxes during an interview with CNN.
“The entire tax return debate is somewhat confounding to me, in the following sense: I don’t think it creates one job ... If we want transparency, if we want specifics, the most relevant thing that people can look at is what is his plan for their tax bill,” Conway said.