Trump Withholds His 2016 Federal Tax Return

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President Donald Trump did not publicly disclose his federal income tax return after the filing deadline, quietly bucking a tradition of presidents disclosing at least a portion of their financial information annually.

Trump is the first sitting president not to disclose his tax returns in four decades. His administration is currently working on a major tax plan with the GOP-majority Congress.

Oct. 16 marked the very last day that Americans could file their federal tax returns for 2016. Historically, modern presidents have publicly disclosed portions of their own tax returns on the filing deadline. Trump, who declined to disclose his returns throughout the 2016 presidential race, has not released any of his financial information, Salon reports.

Trump was the first major party nominee who did not release tax returns during a campaign since former President Gerald R. Ford in 1976. Ford only released his financial summaries during that race. Since then, major nominees have released at least one year of their tax returns while vying for the White House, according to PolitiFact.

In January 2015, Trump signaled that his campaign was working to release his returns during the GOP primary.

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"I have very big returns, as you know, and I have everything all approved and beautiful, and we'll be working on that over the next period of time ... At the appropriate time, you'll be satisfied," Trump told NBC News.

Trump later stated that he could not release his tax returns because his finances were under audit by the Internal Revenue Service. As early as February 2016, the agency publicly stated that individuals can publicly release their returns even if they are under audit, The Hill reports.

"Nothing prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information," the IRS said in a statement at the time.

On Jan. 22, White House counsel Kellyanne Conway asserted during an interview that Trump would not disclose his tax returns -- not because he was unable to, but because the public was not interested.

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"We litigated this all through the election," Conway told ABC News. "People didn't care. They voted for him, and let me make this very clear: most Americans are, are very focused on what their returns will look like when President Trump is in office, not what his look like."

On Oct. 16, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown of California vetoed legislation that would have required presidential candidates to publicly disclose five years' worth of their tax returns in order to feature on the state ballot, Newsweek reports.

"While I recognize the political attractiveness -- even the merits -- of getting President Trump's tax returns, I worry about the political perils of individual states seeking to regulate presidential elections in this manner," Brown said.

On Oct. 18, Trump held a meeting with a group of senators to discuss his administration's tax plan. A source who attended the meeting and who requested anonymity asserted that the president quipped about his tax returns. GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana confirmed that Trump made the remarks but said that they were intended as a joke, according to CNN.

"You might see my taxes one day," Trump reportedly said during the meeting. "Maybe I'll release them one day, who knows?"

Sources: ABC News, CNNThe Hill, NBC NewsNewsweek, PolitiFactSalon / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr / Embedded Images: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (2)

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