Erin Towery
Erin Towery

Following the release of two pages from President Donald Trump’s 2005 income tax return, the New York Times sought reactions from people across the country, including J.M. Tull School of Accounting assistant professor Erin Towery.

"I didn’t really think he wasn’t paying any taxes. For me, as a tax person, I would like to see the whole tax return. It’s not so much about the amount of tax that he’s paying, but it’s what can the tax return tell us about his business relations?” said Towery, an expert in tax compliance and financial reporting for income taxes.

“The reason I would like to see the entire returns is because multiple numbers reported on pages 1 and 2 have supporting schedules attached to the return. For example, Page 2 of the 2005 return reports itemized deductions of approximately $17 million. However, we do not know the composition of the itemized deductions without also having Schedule A, which details a taxpayer’s itemized deductions (charitable contributions, medical expenses, etc.),” she said.

“I’d also like to see the time-trend of the tax returns. It could have been 25 percent that year and then zero the next year, or maybe 15 percent the next year. It’s just hard to say something for a return that’s in isolation.”

The full article is available online.