Opinion | Releasing Trump’s Tax Returns Was the Right Decision

Because Trump broke with the standard practice of presidential candidates and presidents of releasing their returns, until now we’ve had to rely on a series of partial disclosures to understand his financial situation. First, we got smaller leaks from the press, followed by the New York Times’s major reveal of Trump’s tax returns through 2017. Then on December 21, we got the House Ways and Means Committee’s summary of his tax returns for 2015-20 and the accompanying report on the IRS’s audit program. Now we have the returns themselves.

In each of these successive waves we’ve learned more of the information we should have had all along. Take, for example, the details we have garnered about Trump’s foreign business entanglements. The tax returns reveal that Trump had foreign bank accounts between 2015 and 2020. Certain of these accounts had previously been reported, such as a bank account in China between 2015 and 2017, which reportedly is connected to Trump International Hotels Management’s business promotion in China.

But the returns show so much more, including a staggering array of other foreign financial touchpoints including in Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, South Korea, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.