Former IRS commissioner: Trump could release his old tax returns if he wanted to

Second, Trump’s sprawling business empire likely hasn’t changed much since 2008 — meaning that his 2009 through 2014 filings probably don’t differ too much from the previous ones.

“The IRS — the people there aren’t knuckleheads in terms of using their time,” he said. “If they look at something in the years 2005 and 2006 and the treatment is proper, in my view they’re not going to look at it again in 2010 and 2011.”

“If there’s no net assessment, presumably there’s somewhat limited risk to Mr. Trump, and those reasons for not making disclosure [of the earlier years] are political rather than exposure to risk from a tax perspective,” Everson said.

If Trump is withholding his returns from 2002 to 2008 for political purposes, we’re back into the realm of speculation. Why would he want to hide his returns? Is this a situation like his overseas manufacturing, where he took advantage of legal loopholes that might cast him in a negative light? Did he successfully shield himself from having to pay any federal income tax at all? As it stands, we’ll likely never know.