President Trump has won at least a temporary reprieve from a judge’s order to release his tax records as part of a criminal investigation into his business dealings. Those records could be released to investigators as litigation continues.
Tax experts say they could reveal a lot – or not much at all – about Trump’s financial history.
“Numbers tell stories,” said Kelly Richmond Pope, who teaches forensic accounting at DePaul University. “So following those numbers can help piece together a story.”
The returns could prompt further investigation by prosecutors in New York, who are digging into Trump’s business dealings around hush money his organization allegedly paid to two women who say they had extramarital affairs with him. And whatever they contain, they’re a matter of ongoing public interest, given that Trump has bucked precedent by not releasing them. Here are a few things that tax experts say they’ll be watching for as litigation over Trump’s tax records continues:
How good is Trump, really, at business?
Trump’s wealth and success as a businessman are a central part of his brand. A New York Times investigation last year revealed that much of his wealth in his early years in business came from his father, Fred Trump. And his tax records could give some additional clues to his more recent business dealings.