Presidential candidates and sitting presidents have released their tax returns to the public since 1976. This disclosure is not required by law but has been a long tradition over the last 40 years to allow scrutiny by the voters of this country.
Documentation of donations, income earned, tax rate, taxes paid, tax deductions, offshore tax havens and possible tax evasion allows the voters to evaluate the candidate.
This scrutiny by the public tends to build trust in the candidate by showing how they earn their living and how they spend their money, which in turn shows how the individual will govern the country.
Donald Trump has been the only candidate in the current presidential campaign who has refused to provide any financial information. His claim that he gave $102 million to charity has been debunked by The Washington Post. His claim could easily have been determined by a tax statement. If Trump does not release his tax returns, the assumption can be made that he has something to hide.
The implication of his refusal leads any rational person to question his honesty.
Philip W. Wolfe