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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa lawyer writes Donald Trump: Release your tax returns



Guy Burns, a Tampa lawyer for the Concerned Organization of the Quality Organization of Black Students (COQEBS), wrote a letter to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump this week imploring him to release his federal tax returns.

"There has been a nearly universal call among Democrats and many highly respected Republicans for you to release your federal income tax returns to the public. You have refused to do this citing pending IRS audits and the complexity of your returns. Here is a simple proposition that should be easy to satisfy, and which will give the public much of the desired tax information regarding your returns," Burns writes in the Sept. 27 letter, listing key facts he thinks Trump should disclose from his "undoubtedly" complicated returns including income reported, taxes paid, and charitable contributions.

"I believe that with your battery of accountants and lawyers and with the simple instructions in this letter, you will be able to promptly release to the public these numbers for the last five years. For now, you can keep the supposedly thousands of pages of depreciation schedules and other details that have been filed with your returns. Just give us answers to the simple questions listed above. This information should be right on the tax forms that you certified as accurate under penalties of perjury.

"There is no need to respond directly to this letter. It will be sufficient if you just release the requested tax information to the public."

A search of federal campaign finance records shows Burns has contributed to several Democratic candidates over the years (Eric Lynn for Congress, Alex Sink for Congress and Barack Obama for president in 2007), but he has not contributed to any presidential candidates in the 2016 campaign cycle. Voter registration records in Pinellas show Burns is registered no-party affiliation.

Read the whole letter here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 2:00pm]


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