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Trump now says he'll release his taxes — maybe — after he leaves office

 (Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

The timing of when President Trump might release his taxes continues to change.

Initially, during the campaign, Trump said he would release his tax returns after an audit is complete. Now he says he could release his returns after he leaves office — perhaps 2021 or 2025.

“Nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters. Oh, at some point, I’ll release them. Maybe I’ll release them after I’m finished because I’m very proud of them, actually. I did a good job,” he told the Economist in an interview published Thursday.

In the interview, Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman, interrupted.

“Once the audit is over,” she said, using the campaign talking point.

“I might release them after I’m out of office,” Trump responded.

If you’ve followed this matter closely since 2016, the safe bet is this: Don’t expect to see Trump’s taxes anytime soon.

Last year, Trump said he won’t release any of his returns until the Internal Revenue Service completes an audit. The IRS says all taxpayers are free to make their own tax returns public, regardless of any audit. Critics have speculated that Trump’s refusal stems from his fear of a political backlash should his returns show that he still pays little or no taxes, makes scant charitable contributions or has questionable financial ties.

The president’s 1995 tax records, made public by the New York Times in October, revealed that he claimed a $916-million loss that could have allowed him to avoid paying income taxes for up to 18 years.

In the coming months, Trump has indicated he wants to focus on tax reform, and some Democrats have hinted that negotiations must include Trump’s releasing his returns.

Trump’s response?

“I would never consider it as part of a deal,” he said.

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