Ethics and Democracy

Presidential Tax Transparency Act


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Support the Presidential Tax Transparency Act (H.R. 305) and Demand It Gets a Vote through a Discharge Petition

If he pays any taxes at all, Donald Trump has the potential to save millions from the tax cuts in his TrumpCare plan and his soon to be released tax giveaway plan. To really know how the president stands to gain financially from his own policies, or what potential foreign interests may be influencing his policies abroad, he must release all of his recent tax returns. Since 1980, every major party nominee has voluntarily released their tax returns.

Ask your representative to support the Presidential Tax Transparency Act (H.R. 305). This simple bill would require Trump and future major party presidential nominees to release the three most recent years of their tax returns, with only minor redactions for privacy. If they refuse, the Treasury would provide the returns to the Office of Government Ethics or Federal Election Commission. This is a common-sense measure to bring greater transparency to government that both members of any party should support.

The Presidential Tax Transparency Act has already received bipartisan support, but that has not been enough. Republicans have made sure this bill does not leave committee and get a full vote. That is why Rep. Anna Eshoo, the sponsor of HR 305, the Presidential Tax Transparency Act, has filed a discharge petition to bring the bill to the House floor for consideration. 173 out of 193 Democrats have signed the petition, so 20 Democrats still need to sign on. If they all do, only 26 Republicans would need to sign the discharge petition to move forward (including two who already support the Presidential Tax Transparency Act). Call your representative in the House and urge him or her to sign the discharge petition.

Find your MoC's number here!

SAMPLE CALL DIALOGUE

Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you let me know if the Representative is a cosponsor of the Presidential Tax Transparency Act (HR 305)?

OPTION 1: YES, the representative is officially a cosponsor of the Presidential Tax Transparency Act (HR 305)

Staffer: Thank you for calling! Representative ["Hernandez"] is a cosponsor of the Presidential Tax Transparency Act.

Caller: That’s great! I’m glad Representative ["Hernandez"] agrees, as I do, that the American people deserve to know whether President Trump is working for us, or for special interests, for foreign governments, and companies where he has business deals. Tell the representative thanks for supporting this bill to require full public disclosure of the last three tax returns for President Trump and future major party presidential nominees.

However, your support will not be enough if the bill is not allowed out of committee for a full vote on the House floor. Please tell the representative to also sign Rep. Anna Eshoo’s Discharge Petition to bring the Presidential Tax Transparency Act to the floor.

OPTION 2: NO, the representative does not support the Presidential Tax Transparency Act (HR 305)

Staffer: Thank you for calling! Representative ["Hernandez"] believes tax returns are private and opposes this bill.

Caller: That’s terrible. That means Representative ["Hernandez"] is helping President Trump hide from the American people his foreign business dealings and special tax dodges. Since 1980, every major party nominee has voluntarily released their tax returns. The American people deserve to see Donald Trump’s full, recent tax returns, and the same for all major party presidential nominees moving forward. Tell Representative ["Hernandez"] to cosponsor the Presidential Tax Transparency Act today.

Staffer: The President’s 2005 tax return summary was already leaked publicly and there is no need to release further tax returns.

Caller: That’s wrong. The recently-leaked two-page summary of his 2005 returns are not enough, and bring more questions than answers. In fact, media reports found that President Trump’s tax returns from five other years show he paid little if any federal income taxes.  We need to know how much money is President Trump holding offshore? Which foreign business deals helped him get rich? How much has he actually given to charity? What special tax loopholes has he used that help shield him from paying his fair share? How would he and his family will personally benefit from his tax plan?  The American people deserve to know answers. Donald Trump and all major party nominees should release their full, recent tax returns. Tell Representative ["Hernandez"] to cosponsor the Presidential Tax Transparency Act and to sign Rep. Anna Eshoo’s Discharge Petition to bring the Presidential Tax Transparency Act to the floor.

OPTION 3: Has No Position or Supports Tax Transparency (in general) but is not yet a cosponsor of the bill

Staffer: Thank you for calling! The representative generally wants the President to release his tax returns, but hasn’t yet cosponsored the bill.

Caller: That’s nice to know the representative is generally supportive, but that’s disappointing to hear the he or she is not yet a cosponsor. This is a very important issue for thousands of people in [Representative’s district], myself included. The American people deserve to know whether President Trump is working for his constituents or for special interests, foreign governments, and companies where he has business deals.

If the Representative is going to practice what they preach, they need to cosponsor the Presidential Tax Transparency Act. This simple bill would require full public disclosure of the recent tax returns for President Trump and future major party presidential nominees.

Staffer: I will certainly pass on your concerns to the representative.

Caller: Please do, and tell the Representative to sign Rep. Anna Eshoo’s Discharge Petition to bring the Presidential Tax Transparency Act to the House floor for a vote.

Please take down my contact information to let me know when the Representative has made up his or her mind. I’m eager to hear what he or she decides.