A House committee is due to release six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns on Friday, pulling back the curtain on the financial records the former president fought for years to keep secret.
The Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee voted last week to release the statements, with some redactions of sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers and contact information. Their release comes in the final days of Democrat control of the House and as Trump’s fellow Republicans prepare to regain power in the chamber.
The committee obtained six years of Trump’s personal and business tax records, from 2015 to 2020, while investigating what he said in a Dec. 20 report was the Internal Revenue Service’s failure to pursue audits. mandatory requirements from Trump in a timely manner during his presidency, as required under tax agency protocol.
The post raises the potential for new revelations about Trump’s finances, which have been shrouded in mystery and intrigue since his days as a promising Manhattan real estate developer in the 1980s. The returns could take on added significance now that Trump has launched a third campaign for the White House.
Trump’s tax returns will likely offer the clearest picture of his finances during his tenure.
Trump, known for building skyscrapers and hosting a reality TV show before winning the White House, broke political standards by refusing to go public with his comebacks as he sought the presidency – despite having gave some limited details about his assets and income on mandatory disclosure forms.
Instead, Trump touted his wealth in the annual financial statements he gives to banks to secure loans and to financial magazines to justify his place in the ranking of the world’s billionaires.
Trump’s longtime accounting firm has since disavowed the claims, and New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit alleging that Trump and his Trump Organization inflated the value of assets on the claims in connection of a one-year fraud. Trump and company have denied any wrongdoing.
This won’t be the first time Trump’s tax returns have come under scrutiny. In October 2018, The New York Times published a Pulitzer Prize-winning series based on leaked tax records that showed Trump had received the modern equivalent of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate, much of it money from what the Times called “tax dodging” in the 1990s.
A second round in 2020 showed Trump paid just $750 in federal income tax in 2017 and 2018, as well as no income tax at all in 10 of the past 15 years, as he has usually lost more money than he made.
In its report last week, the Ways and Means Committee said the Trump administration may have ignored a post-Watergate requirement mandating audits of a president’s tax returns.
The IRS didn’t begin auditing Trump’s 2016 tax returns until April 3, 2019 — more than two years into his presidency — when Ways and Means chairman Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass ., asked the agency for tax-related information. Return.
By comparison, there have been audits of President Joe Biden for the 2020 and 2021 tax years, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said. A spokesman for former President Barack Obama said Obama had been audited during each of his eight years in office.
An accompanying report by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Congressional Taxation raised several red flags about aspects of Trump’s tax filings, including his carry forward losses, deductions related to conservation and charitable donations, and loans to his children that could be taxable gifts.
The House passed a bill in response that would require audits of any president’s tax returns. Republicans have strongly opposed the legislation, fearing that a law requiring audits would invade taxpayer privacy and lead to a weaponization of audits for political purposes.
Republicans have argued that Democrats will regret the move once Republicans take office in January, and they warn that the committee’s new GOP chair will be under pressure to seek out and release other figures’ tax returns.
The measure, approved mostly along party lines, is unlikely to become law in the final days of this Congress. Rather, it is seen as a starting point for future efforts to strengthen oversight of the presidency.
Every major party president and candidate since Richard Nixon has voluntarily made at least summaries of his tax information available to the public. Trump has bucked this trend as a candidate and as president, repeatedly saying his taxes are “being audited” and cannot be released.
Trump’s attorneys have been repeatedly denied in their quest to keep his tax returns from the Ways and Means Committee. In August, a three-judge federal appeals court panel upheld a lower court ruling granting access to the committee.
Trump’s attorneys also tried and failed to block the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office from obtaining Trump’s tax records as part of its investigation into his business practices, twice losing in the Supreme Court.
Longtime Trump accountant Donald Bender testified at the recent Trump Organization criminal trial in Manhattan that Trump had reported losses on his tax returns every year for a decade, including nearly $700 million in 2009. and $200 million in 2010.
Bender, a partner at Mazars USA LLP who spent years preparing Trump’s personal tax returns, said Trump’s reported losses from 2009 to 2018 included net operating losses from some of the many businesses he owns through the Trump Organization.
The Trump Organization was convicted earlier this month of tax evasion for helping some executives dodge taxes on company-paid benefits such as apartments and luxury cars.
Associated Press writer Paul Wiseman in Washington contributed to this report
We would love to give thanks to the author of this article for this incredible material
U.S. House committee set to unblock 6 years of Trump taxes – Reuters