CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 22: Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence stands with Donald Trump during a rally on October 22, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.Trump continues to struggle in many swing states against his rival for the presidency Hillary Clinton. It is believed that Ohio is a must win state for Trump. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt
Photo: Spencer Platt

Donald Trump won't release his tax returns before election, Mike Pence confirms

Breaking a decades-long tradition, Donald Trump will not release his tax returns before voters head to the polls on Nov. 8, the Republican presidential nominee's running mate confirmed Sunday.

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In an appearance on NBC News' "Meet the Press," Indiana Gov. Mike Pence reiterated that Trump will not release his returns until after an audit is completed.

"All right, so not before the election?" host Chuck Todd asked.

"Yeah," Pence said.

>> Related: Warren Buffett fires back at Donald Trump, sets record straight about taxes

Trump has declined to release his returns over the course of the election, citing an ongoing IRS audit. The IRS has said that being under audit does not bar a person from releasing his or her tax information.

Pence in September released a decade's worth of tax returns. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, have released nearly 10 years of tax returns.

The Tax History Project compiles tax information from former presidents and recent presidential candidates. The Project lists tax information for all Republican presidential nominees over the past nine elections with the exception of Bob Dole. A 1996 article from the New York Times shows Dole released his tax returns as well.

>> Related: Report: Trump's tax records show he could’ve avoided paying for 18 years

Presidential nominees are not required to release tax information.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on government transparency, tax returns can provide insight into a candidate's values and spotlight his or her potential conflicts of interest.

"There is a reason why banks use tax returns when evaluating mortgages: the forms offer a snapshot of a person's financial position and their financial decision making processes," the Foundation wrote in July.

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