The President’s tax returns remain a mystery. Over the weekend, over 213,000 people signed a petition demanding that President Trump release his tax returns with all information needed to verify his compliance with the Constitution’s emoluments clause which bars a US leader from accepting any “present” from a “king, prince or foreign state.” Once a petition receives 100,000 signatures, the White House issues a response. ABC’s This Week asked for one from Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway. She repeated Trump's assertion that “people don’t care” about his tax returns and that he will not release them.
Wikileaks cares about them too. In a Twitter twist yesterday, Wikileaks requested that someone leak Trump’s tax returns, so that it can release them. Who can access the returns legally? A spouse filing a joint return or a paid tax preparer. Who can legally make them public? Only the taxpayer who files them.
Taxes are still on one 100-days schedule. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told a local radio station that tax reform remains on the chamber’s 100-day to-do list, The Hill reports. Other items on McCarthy’s schedule: legislation to curb new regulations, an infrastructure bill and, of course, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
Tax season opens today. The IRS begins processing tax returns today. The agency also reminds taxpayers that taxes, usually due April 15, will be due on Tuesday, April 18. That’s because April 15 falls on a Saturday, and Emancipation Day, a Washington, DC, holiday, falls on April 17.
Michigan House GOP members have a plan to phase out the state’s income tax. The state’s income tax is currently 4.25 percent. The lawmakers’ bill would reduce the rate to 3.9 percent in 2018, and then by an additional 0.1 percent every year thereafter until reaching zero in 2057. The bill now heads to Michigan’s House Committee on Tax Policy, which has yet to meet in the new legislative session. The $9 billion bill would require spending cuts, as it contains no revenue offsets.
And a former Saturday Night Live player has a tax plan for New Jersey pensions. Comedian Joe Piscopo is considering a run for governor of the Garden State. He’s putting together a plan that would eliminate state income taxes for public school teachers, state troopers, and municipal police and firefighters. In return, those public employees would have to pay more for health benefits. He also promises a plan to could help save the state’s crippled pension system for 800,000 retired and active public employees.
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- © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2016.