As Tax Day’s April 18 deadline looms, Benjamin Franklin’s famous “Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes” quote resonates a little more than usual. But for thousands of Tax March protesters across the globe, it’s President Trump’s tax returns they’re focused on.
The Tax Marches are expected to be the largest single-day coordinated call-to-action since the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration in January. They are being held to call for the president to release his much-sought-after tax returns, which he promised to do while campaigning, but has, unlike previous presidential candidates, refused to do since taking office.
"Donald Trump is the first elected president since before Richard Nixon who has refused to release his tax returns," Susan Lerner, executive eirector of Common Cause/NY, said at the event according to a statement from the Working Families Party. "Since he undeniably has financial interests around the world, Americans deserve to know if the president is acting on behalf of the public interest, or his business empire. The current state of affairs isn't just antithetical to open government, but poses a major threat to national security."
At least 20,000 protesters are estimated to have gathered in New York City Saturday as part of the national movement.
"Donald Trump owes it to all Americans to provide us with a transparent and corruption-free government and on this democratic priority he is failing. He needs to release his taxes," NYC Tax March organizer Wes Shockley said.
“By refusing to release his tax returns, he can hide his business dealings, financial ties and conflicts of interest,” Tax March NYC wrote on its website.
“Trump's team says the election proved no one cares about his taxes. On April 15th, we're coming out to tell Trump we care about his taxes, and ask him #WhatAreYouHiding?” the event’s Facebook page said.
As of Saturday afternoon, more than 15,000 people had RSVPed to attend the event, with more than 32,000 interested in attending.
The rally began at Bryant Park and is co-emceed by comedians Jordan Carlos and Jena Friedman, who tweeted before it began that it “isn’t about Trump, it’s about US, what we won’t stand for and what we will stand against, TOGETHER.”
New York Public Advocate Letitia James and Sen. Brad Hoylman, who helped comedian and advocate Sarah Silverman make signs before the event began, were among the march’s confirmed speakers.
The protesters eventually marched north on Sixth Avenue to Trump International Hotel in Columbus Circle.
In addition to the sign-toting demonstrators and speakers, protesters will be able to sign a 10-foot-tall inflatable chicken that symbolizes Trump’s fear of sharing his finances with the public.
WAIT. ISN’T TAX DAY APRIL 15?
Tax Day is usually April 15, but since the date is a Saturday this year, Tax Day now falls on Tuesday, April 18.
It’s not Monday because this year, April 17 is a federal holiday in the District of Columbia to observe Emancipation Day, which actually falls on Sunday.
Whew. At least you have a few extra days to get your finances together if you haven’t filed already.