Elsewhere online
February 26, 2016

Trump Says IRS Audit Is Preventing Release of His Returns

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, under pressure from GOP rivals to make his tax returns public to back up claims about his net worth and philanthropy, said Thursday that he has been blocked from doing so by an Internal Revenue Service audit, CBS News reports. The billionaire businessman said he has "been audited every year — 12 years or something like that."

The IRS is barred by law from disclosing whether it is auditing a private citizen's taxes, but there is no rule preventing the candidate from releasing his returns, even if they are under review. During his presidential run Mr. Trump has touted his giving, and his campaign says he has donated more than $100 million to charitable causes. The Donald J. Trump Foundation gave a total of $5.2 million during the five most recent tax years for which data is publicly available, according to CBS.

"Nobody is required to disclose their private donations, but we just don't have a sense of whether that's true or not," Chronicle of Philanthropy editor Stacy Palmer told the network. "Anybody who gives money is a philanthropist. … Is he one of the biggest donors or the most influential ones in American philanthropy? No. We don't see any evidence of that."

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on Donald Trump's giving.