Fact Check

Anonymous Hacks IRS Database – Publishes Trump's Tax Returns

A fake news article reported that Donald Trump's tax returns were posted online after Anonymous hacked the IRS database.

Published May 28, 2016

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Donald Trump's tax returns were posted online after the IRS database was hacked.

On 27 May 2016, the web site Free Wood Post published an article reporting that Donald Trump's tax returns were posted online after the Anonymous collective obtained them by hacking databases of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

Thursday evening, the mysterious hacker collective known as Anonymous hacked the main database for the Internal Revenue Service. The group appeared to have a singular target — Republican Presidential contender Donald Trump. Though Trump has been criticized by both parties for his failure to produce his tax returns, he has consistently refused to do so saying, “You don’t learn anything from a tax return.” After hacking Mitt Romney’s tax returns in 2012, Anonymous clearly believes that knowledge and transparency are important to the public.

However, this article was just a fabrication from the Free Wood Post a web site that specializes in fake news:

Free Wood Post is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within FreeWoodPost.com are fiction, and presumably fake news.

Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction.

Donald Trump has not released his tax returns. While the Republican presidential candidate has maintained that he would release his tax returns after an audit was completed, his campaign chairman Paul Manafort said he didn't expect Trump to release his tax returns during the presidential campaign:

"I will be surprised if he puts them out," Manafort told the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman in a wide-ranging interview. "I wouldn't necessarily advise him to. It's not really an issue for the people we are appealing to."

Trump has said he is under audit and that he cannot release his returns until the audit is complete, an issue Democrats have jumped on to hit the New York business mogul. Trump would be the first major-party nominee since 1976 not to release his returns.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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