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Report References Mort Caplin's Comments on President Nixon's Tax Returns

June 14, 2016, Tax Notes

Mortimer M. Caplin’s comments concerning President Nixon’s tax returns were part of a report by Joseph J. Thorndike, director of the Tax History Project at Tax Analysts, which was presented at a panel discussion sponsored by the United States Capitol Historical Society. The panel was held in honor of the 90th anniversary of the Joint Committee on Taxation. For the full article, please visit Tax Notes website (subscription required).

Excerpt taken from the article "JCT Investigation of Nixon's Tax Returns" by Joseph J. Thorndike for Tax Notes.

. . . 

A variety of tax experts also weighed in on Nixon's personal role in the tax scandal. In a highly publicized interview, former IRS Commissioner Mortimer Caplin raised doubts about the legitimacy of Nixon's charitable deduction, as well as other aspects of his tax returns. But he emphasized the broader issues at stake, underscoring the dangers of aggressive tax minimization by the nation's chief executive. "A President is a moral leader," Caplin said. "He helps establish the values in our society. He's an example."

. . .

Still, not everyone liked the idea of putting the JCIRT in the role of presidential auditor. Caplin told The Washington Post that the committee's temporary role might be justifiable in the current, exceptional situation. "But in the future this is not a very good practice," the former IRS commissioner warned. "I think it places an extreme burden on the Committee, which does not usually involve itself in specific administrative acts."

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