Why we’re unlikely to find any Russian connection in Trump’s tax returns

However, even if Trump has business ties with Russian oligarchs or the Russian government — please note the “if,” because there is nothing suggesting that is the case — it’s highly unlikely that evidence of that would show up in his personal tax returns. That’s the unanimous opinion of three respected tax experts I consulted, none of whom is an apologist for Trump.

A primary reason, they told me, is that Trump does business through hundreds of entities, including partnerships, corporations and LLCs (short for limited liability companies).

If you could read the relevant documents — IRS Forms 1040 and 8938 and Schedules C, E and S — you would see that unless the president has a personal Russian bank account or shows a gain or a loss on the sale of a Russian security or property, financial results of Russian dealings (if they exist) would likely be lumped in with hundreds of other dealings rather than being broken out specifically…

If we are highly unlikely to find a Russian connection (should it exist, and again, there is no evidence that one does) in Trump’s tax returns, why do we have a stake in seeing them?

For the same reason it’s in our interest to see the tax returns of presidents, vice presidents and candidates for those offices: It’s important to see what kind of people they are, and to what extent they’re helping to pay for the country they’re running (or want to run).