For almost as long as anyone can remember, people have been asking Donald Trump to release his taxes.
During the presidential election campaign, the New York tycoon said he would happily release them, once they had had finished being audited by the Inland Revenue Service.
But as time went by, Mr Trump seemed more and more reluctant to do so, especially after the New York Times obtained a return from 1996 that suggested he may have paid no federal income tax that year whatsoever. The White House made clear he would not making them available and Mr Trump claimed it was only the media who cared about the issue.
Suddenly thz White House has released details of Donald Trump’s income and tax returns before he was President, prompted by a US television host who claimed to have new information relating to the property mogul’s personal finances.
The tax returns show that the Republican billionaire made more than $150m in 2005 and paid $38m in income taxes that year.
The acknowledgement came after MSNBC host Rachel Maddow presented what she said was part of Mr Trump’s tax forms from that year.
The story emerged after respected US reporter David Cay Johnston claimed to have received the President’s tax return in the post from an unknown source.
It was unclear who was behind the apparent leak. Unconfirmed rumours claimed the Trump administration may even have been behind the leak, although the White House released a strongly-worded statement condemning the “illegal” action.
Mr Trump refused to release his tax returns during the presidential election campaign, claiming he was under audit.
Commenting shortly before Ms Maddow’s programme aired, the White House said publishing the returns would be illegal, and launched another attack on the “dishonest media”.
The full statement from the Trump administration said: “You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago.
Source: The Independent