Inquiring Minds Want To Know: Why Is Donald Trump Hiding His Taxes?

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FLIM-FLAM
Noun flim-flam \ flim-, flam\
Nonsensical or insincere talk; foolish or deceptive words
Dishonest behavior meant to take money or property from someone

Could Donald Trump be just another flim-flam man?

The GOP candidate for President of the United States has refused to release his tax forms since he announced his candidacy in June 2015. Of course, this leads many of us with inquisitive minds to wonder: What is Trump hiding?

When Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos recently asked Trump what his tax rate was, Trump simply replied “It’s none of your business.”

None of our business?

Trump also said he doesn’t not believe that voters have a right to see his tax returns before they vote.

Really, Mr. Trump? Aren’t you the very same man who blasted Mitt Romney for being slow to release his taxes during his 2012 campaign?

According to presumptive “Don the Con,” he also has no foreign bank accounts And yet, Trump’s name is linked to 32 offshore companies, including the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama. His name appears 3,540 times in the database.

Flim and flam.

So what are the real reasons the billionaire candidate is refusing to release his tax forms? Your guesses are as good as ours, but we’ve got three theories:

1. The presumptive billionaire isn’t worth as much as he claims.
2. When it comes to paying taxes, he tries not to.
3. The word “charity” doesn’t exist in his fourth-grade vocabulary.

Candidates running for President of the United States have been releasing their tax forms since 1976. So when Donald Trump and his Republican spokespersons say voters don’t really care about taxes, we beg to differ. U.S. voters are taxpayers and we care a lot. And while Donald claims there’s nothing we can learn from his tax forms, there is plenty to learn.

According to an ABC News report on May 16, the Trump claimed the Trump National Golf Club in Ossining, New York, is worth “more than $50 million, and reflective of “a true luxury lifestyle” with its lovingly manicured golf course, gently winding streams, stone bridges, 101-foot waterfall and an expansive clubhouse. But when it came time to value the property for tax purposes, his lawyers have argued that Trump National is really only worth $1.35 million. The network updated its reporting with news later in the day that the Trump team had revised the golf course value amid the tax controversy.

The same ABC News report included this information:

In 1986, when Trump purchased one of the most expensive luxury yachts in the world from the Sultan of Brunei, “The Princess,” he used a lease-back arrangement involving an out-of-state company to avoid having to pay $1.75 million in sales tax to the state of New Jersey for the purchase of the yacht.

Trump also was one of a number of celebrities identified in a New York state investigation into a sales tax dodge by the Bulgari jewelry store on Fifth Avenue. Store officials had been accused of selling expensive items to celebrity customers, and then sending an empty box to an out-of-state address so the customers would not have to pay New York sales tax.

When Trump struck a deal with New York City to build the Grand Hyatt Hotel, it required that his partnership team return a portion of the hotel profits to the city. But a 1989 audit found that his ownership team “understated its net profit” by more than $5 million and deprived the city of its nearly $3 million in unreported proceeds. Karen Burstein, the city auditor who reviewed the Grand Hyatt financial books, said Trump approved the decision to use different accounting rules to determine the money owed to the city.

So you know what, Mr. Trump? Go ahead, say all you want about your tax formsm but you’re acting more like a flim-flam man every day you won’t release them.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

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