Donald Trump made history in this year’s election by being the first presidential candidate in several decades to not release his tax returns. In fact, he outright refused to release them. However, candidates like him in the future may not be able to outright refuse.
Under a new law, coined the “T.R.U.M.P. Act,” candidates will be required to release tax returns, reports Fortune.
The bill was created by New York Democrat Brad Holyman, and it requires candidates to disclose five years of past tax returns for their name to appear on the New York ballot. While it will only affect New York, other states may soon follow the trend.
What is T.R.U.M.P.?
The “TRUMP” Act or Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act will be a law that does not allow people to vote for someone that does not release their tax returns. They cannot even write the name into the ballot. Also, the candidate only has 50 days before the general election to release his or her tax returns or they will be removed from the ballot.
The New York Senator wants to avoid another issue like Trump, says Newsmax.
Also, electoral college members cannot vote for any member of the ballot that does not release their tax returns.
The reason behind the TRUMP Act is that New York feels that for over four decades it has been implied that a presidential candidate would release their tax returns to show the public about their true financial holdings, private interests, charitable giving’s, and how much they pay in taxes. Essentially, offering full disclosure and transparency into the candidate’s personal and financial matters.
Most candidates have had no issue in the past releasing such returns. While there was never an official rule, it was an unspoken one that candidates followed; until Donald Trump came along.
Critics that were waiting for Trump to release his tax returns questioned several scenarios that might explain his refusal. Some wondered if it was because Trump was not as rich as he claimed, while others speculated that he owes more in taxes than he would like the American people to know about. Others assumed that he never paid taxes or that his business dealings were not as honest as he led the world to think.
The argument for the new bill is that Trump’s actions made the public question how his business holdings would interfere with his ability to be president. After all, he refused to disclose information to put those concerns at ease, says Patch.
Public polls taken during the 2016 presidential election found that Americans wanted President-elect Trump to release his tax returns to the public, just like others have done in the past.
The new bill is aimed to prevent another Trump scenario from happening, and protect the American people with 100 percent transparency when they are considering who the next leader of the country should be.