Midterm elections' prospects complicated by state tax connections to federal tax reform
A tale of two state tax studies

Donald J. Trump filed his 2017 extended taxes and we'll likely never see them

Donald J Trump signing 2014 tax returns via his Twitter account
This photo via Donald J. Trump's Twitter account shows, it says, him signing on Oct. 15, 2015, his 2014 federal return. It's still the only glimpse of Trump's federal tax returns that he's ever provided, either before or after moving into the White House.

It's official. Donald and Melania Trump were among the millions of taxpayers who got tax-filing extensions and finally this week filed their 2017 return.

It's also official that we won't be seeing the Trumps' 2017 taxes.

No Trump taxes: Trump, as he made clear during his presidential campaign, won't release his taxes while they're under audit. 

"Tax experts throughout the media agree that no sane person would give their tax returns during an audit," Trump tweeted during the 2016 campaign. He did add, however, "After the audit, no problem!"

We've never received any word on whether the audits of his earlier returns are over. That's information that, due to Internal Revenue Service privacy laws, can only be released by a taxpayer.

But whatever the IRS exam status of those older tax returns, Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway made it clear in January 2017 that we are never going to see her boss' 1040s. But that's for another post.

A new audit round: As for Trump's latest tax forms, they now also are under audit.

That's not a guess. That's the word from the White House.

"The President and First Lady filed their taxes on time and as always they are automatically under audit, which the President thinks is extremely unfair," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told CBS News.

All presidents are audited: Despite Sanders' characterization of the automatic audit as unfair, it's standard practice and a good political, civic and tax protocol.

Every president's tax filings automatically are given a close examination by Uncle Sam's tax agents, according to former IRS Commissioner John Koskinen's remarks in March 2016 to a National Press Club audience.

It's not that the IRS suspects any Commander in Chief of cheating on his taxes. It's just the country's tax agency and its presidents want to assure Americans that their leader is meeting the same tax compliance standards as every U.S. taxpayer.

Will we ever know the results of Trump's pre- and post-election tax return audits? Nah. 

Even though every president since Richard Nixon has released some form of his returns, that's not Trump's style. 

But we at least know he did file his taxes this week. And because of his position, Trump's excuse argument that he won't disclose his taxes while they are under IRS audit is back in play.

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