Federal law makes it illegal to publish an unauthorized tax return or "return information":
It shall be unlawful for any person to whom any return or return information (as defined in section 6103(b)) is disclosed in a manner unauthorized by this title thereafter willfully to print or publish in any manner not provided by law any such return or return information. Any violation of this paragraph shall be a felony punishable by a fine in any amount not exceeding $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.
The term "return information" covers not only return documents themselves but also the "amount of his income, payments, receipts, deductions, exemptions, credits, assets, liabilities, net worth, tax liability, tax withheld, deficiencies, overassessments or tax payments."
The Times published the first page of Trump's 1995 New York state resident income tax return, the first page of his New Jersey nonresident tax return and the first page of his Connecticut nonresident tax return.
Under New York law, it is unlawful "to divulge or make known in any manner the amount of income or any particulars set forth or disclosed in any report or return." Non-government employees face fines of as much as $10,000 and imprisonment for as long as one year....
This (Trump/Tax/NYTimes) story shows why so many ppl don't want the IRS having anything to do w/healthcare... no privacy at all.— Jennifer Van Laar (@jenvanlaar) October 2, 2016
Trace Gallagher: "Trump reportedly lost $916 million in 1995 and could have used that loss to offset paying federal taxes for 18 years.” pic.twitter.com/Yqldv5ljca— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) October 4, 2016
Not so fast! Here’s why Hillary REALLY shouldn’t smack-talk Trump over tax leak https://t.co/GTHcoFZNUJ— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) October 3, 2016
Clinton Campaign Admits Hillary Used Same Tax Avoidance "Scheme" As Trump https://t.co/KhDWhqNUZK— WhiteHousePressCorps (@whpresscorps) October 3, 2016
Move along, liberals ... https://t.co/9DBwCwp5Fx— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) October 4, 2016
BREAKING: New York Times Once Lauded Trump as ‘Come-Back’ King! https://t.co/siggaMcPho— Jeff Dunetz (@yidwithlid) October 4, 2016
FLASHBACK April 16, 1994: Clintons deduct underwear on their taxes https://t.co/E4ebjmZi7A— WhiteHousePressCorps (@whpresscorps) October 4, 2016
REPORT: New York Times Didn't Pay Taxes In 2014 https://t.co/AgUXYFcif4— DEPLORABLE 'MLA' (@heifer109) October 4, 2016
LMAO, New York Times admitted Trumps write off was totally legal and people are crying about him following the tax laws. #CrookedHillary— P. J. (@Portosj81J) October 2, 2016
1/9 The duplicity of the New York Times publishing private tax info about a GOP presidential candidate is blatantly obvious...— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) October 3, 2016