President Trump has missed the deadline to file his 2016 federal income-tax return, at the same time he told reporters he expects Congress to have a tax-cut bill on his desk by Thanksgiving.
Trump filed for an extension in June.
Although every modern president has filed their taxes on deadline — then made the return public — Trump has done neither, following his pattern of keeping his tax documents secret. During the presidential campaign, Trump became the first major-party nominee not to release several years of past returns. At the time, he said he might do so in the future.
But that goal post moved frequently. In October 2015, Trump told ABC News “at some point, I’ll release it.” In January 2016, Trump told NBC that his campaign was “working on that right now. 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 very satisfied.” Ultimately, Trump said he couldn’t release the returns because he was being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), although there is no restriction against releasing tax returns under audit.
In January 2016, a whitehouse.gov petition demanding that Trump release his tax returns got more than a million signatures.
This comes as Republicans in the Senate are maneuvering to pass a $1.5 trillion tax-cut bill via the reconciliation process, which means they would need only 50 votes and no Democratic support. On Friday, the Republicans approved a budget, which the Washington Post called “a crucial step forward” for the bill.
The proposal has been criticized because it would add to the deficit and favor the ultra-wealthy.
In a May interview with the Economist, Trump was asked,”If you do need Democratic support for your tax plan, your ideal tax plan, and the price of that the Democrats say is for you to release your tax returns, would you do that?”
Replied Trump: “I don’t know. That’s a very interesting question. I doubt it. I doubt it. Because they’re not going to … nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters.”
He added, “Oh, at some point I’ll release them. Maybe I’ll release them after I’m finished because I’m very proud of them actually. I did a good job.”