In a theatrical move that had stacks of manila envelopes filled with his business papers,

President-elect Donald Trump kicked off his first press conference in months by announcing he will be handing over his business to his sons.

But one journalist insisted he should release his tax returns, asking:

“Does Russia have any leverage over you, financial or otherwise, and, if not, will you release your tax returns to prove it?”

Obviously, the liberal narrative is that, somehow, Trump’s personal tax returns would reveal how deep his dealings with Russia go and whether or not he truly colluded with Vladimir Putin to get elected.

But Donald Trump responded to the reporter saying:

“I had no dealings with Russia, I have no deals in Russia.  I have no deals that could happen in Russia because we’ve stayed away and I have no loans with Russia. As a real estate developer, I have very, very little debt.

I have no loans with Russia and I thought that was important, I certified that, so I have no deals, I have no loans.

We could make deals in Russia very easily if I wanted to, I just don’t want to because I think that would be a conflict of interest.  So I have no loans, no deals, and no current pending deals with Russia.”

When asked why he wouldn’t release them, his answer – as it’s always been – was: “I’m not releasing tax returns because you know they’re under audit.”

Of course the liberal media doesn’t believe him because they don’t want to.

But what they don’t understand is his personal tax returns would not reveal anything they’re hoping will be true, even if it was true.

Jerry Lynch, who is a CFP at JFL Total Wealth Management, wrote a piece on as to why Donald Trump’s tax returns do not matter:

“I can see a lot in a tax return. I can tell if you are healthy (medical deductions), how much you have in cash (interest), your charitable contributions, and many other things. It is kind of an X-ray into someone’s personal finances.

However, just like an X-ray, it will not show everything and that is why when I meet with a potential client, I need to get more information.

The personal financial statements are more like an MRI and will give me more detailed on what is below the service.  Here is what you will not see, especially for a business owner:

1) Charitable Contributions from the company: Many people who own C corporations do charitable deductions through their company, so the deduction will not appear on their personal returns.  The deduction still comes from them if they own the company, but it will appear on the corporate, not personal, returns.

2) Income: Yes, I realize this is strange but for business owners, you may receive income in your pocket, but not all of that income is reported as taxable income, especially if you own real estate as Donald Trump does. 

You get a depreciation allowance that offsets a good part of that income so what you are seeing on the return is lower than the cash you received. Spending cash from your bank is not taxable income.  It is possible to live a very good lifestyle and not have much in taxable income.

3) Assets: Tax returns do not show assets, just taxable income. For example, if you have a house, the returns do not show the value, but only what you pay in property taxes.  If you own a business, it does not show what it is worth, but only what you received in taxable income. 

If you own stocks, it will not tell you what they are worth, but only what you received in capital gains and dividend income.  You cannot figure out someone’s net worth based upon a tax return.”

And all of this is perfectly legal. Even the assumption the liberal media perpetuated with his 18-year-old tax return – where Trump declared a loss making it “possible” he didn’t pay federal income tax for the last 18 years – is also legal.

As a business owner, he’s taking advantage of the tax laws that are at his disposal.