A House committee is set to release six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns on Friday, drawing back the curtain on financial records the former president has struggled to keep secret for years.
The Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee voted last week to release the returns, with some redactions of sensitive information such as Social Security numbers and contact information. Their spread comes as the days of Democratic control of the House of Representatives fade and as Trump’s fellow Republicans prepare to regain power in the House.
The committee obtained Trump’s personal and business tax records for six years, from 2015 to 2020, while investigating what it said in a Dec. In time for a mandatory audit of Trump, as required by agreement with the tax agency.
The release raised the possibility of new revelations about Trump’s finances, which have been shrouded in mystery and intrigue since he emerged as a budding Manhattan real estate developer in the 1980s. Those returns may become even more important now that Trump has launched his third campaign for the White House.
Trump’s tax returns may provide the clearest look yet at his finances in office.
Trump, known for building skyscrapers and hosting reality TV before winning the White House, broke political norms by refusing to disclose his returns in his quest for the presidency — though he did provide some information about him on mandatory disclosure forms. Limited details of assets and income.
Instead, Trump bragged about his wealth in annual financial statements that he provided to banks to secure loans and to financial magazines to justify his place on the world’s billionaire rankings.
Trump’s longtime accounting firm has since denied the claims, and New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit alleging that Trump and his Trump Organization inflated the value of their assets in a years-long lawsuit. part of the fraud. Trump and his company have denied wrongdoing.
This isn’t the first time Trump’s tax returns have come under scrutiny. In October 2018, The New York Times published a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning works based on leaked tax records showing that Trump received at least $413 million in modern times from his father’s real estate holdings, including Much of the money came from what The Times called “tax evasion” in the 1990s.
The second series for 2020 shows that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018, and paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the past 15 years, as he typically lost more money than he made many.
In a report last week, the Ways and Means Committee said the Trump administration may be ignoring post-Watergate demands for an audit of the president’s tax returns.
The IRS did not start auditing Trump’s 2016 tax returns until April 3, 2019 — more than two years after he became president — when Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., asked This agency provides information related to tax returns.
By contrast, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said President Joe Biden was audited for the 2020 and 2021 tax years. A spokesman for former President Barack Obama said Obama was audited in each of his eight years in office.
An accompanying report by Congress’ nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation raised multiple red flags about Trump’s tax filings, including his carryforward losses, deductions related to conservation and charitable contributions, and loans to his children May be a taxable gift.
In response, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring an audit of any president’s income tax returns. Republicans strongly oppose the legislation, fearing that laws requiring audits would invade taxpayer privacy and could lead to audits being weaponized for political gain.
The measure, which was approved largely along party lines, is unlikely to become law anytime soon as a new Republican-led House of Representatives is sworn in in January. Instead, it is seen as a starting point for future efforts to increase oversight of the presidency.
Republicans argue that Democrats will regret the move once Republicans take power next week, warning that the committee’s new Republican chair will come under pressure to seek and release the tax returns of other high-profile figures.
Every presidential and major party candidate since Richard Nixon has voluntarily released at least a summary of their tax information to the public. Bucking the trend both as a candidate and as president, Trump has repeatedly claimed that his taxes are “under audit” and cannot be released.
Trump’s lawyers tried to get the Ways and Means Committee to keep his tax returns, but were repeatedly rebuffed. In August, a three-judge federal appeals court panel upheld a lower court ruling granting the committee access.
Trump’s lawyers also tried unsuccessfully to prevent the Manhattan District Attorney’s office from obtaining Trump’s tax records as part of an investigation into his business practices, losing twice in the Supreme Court.
Donald Bender, Trump’s longtime accountant, testified at the Trump Organization’s recent 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 2010. 200 million dollars per year.
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 many of the businesses he owned through the Trump Organization. Some of the companies reported net operating losses.
The Trump Organization was convicted earlier this month of tax fraud for helping some executives evade taxes on company-paid perks, such as apartments and luxury cars.