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House Committee Votes to Release Trump Tax Records to Public

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Dec 21, 2022

After years of legal battles, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means has voted to release former President Donald J. Trump’s tax returns from 2015 through 2020. The committee also revealed, that, for two years during his presidency, the IRS did not did not audit his returns, as it was required to do by regulations.

After reviewing the former president’s last six available tax records, the committee issued a report finding that the IRS did not audit the returns for Trump’s first two years in office, only starting to do so after receiving a letter from Committee Chair Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) on April 3, 2019. On that date, the IRS notified Trump that his tax year 2015 return was selected for examination.

So far, none of the audits has been completed.

“The designated [IRS] agents found that there was only one mandatory audit started and none completed during his four years in office. Clearly, the mandatory audit program was dormant, at best, during the prior Administration,” the report read. “The former President’s individual income tax returns filed in 2018, 2019, and 2020 were not selected for examination until after he left office and only the 2016 tax return was subject to a mandatory examination.”

Mandatory audits of presidents began in 1977, after the administration of Richard M. Nixon. The committee report recommended requiring the IRS to conduct mandatory audits while a president is in office and to publicly disclose related information, to revise its associated procedures and to provide adequate resources to conduct such audits.

“I’ve proposed legislation to put the program above reproach,” Neal said in a statement. “Ensuring IRS conducts yearly, timely examinations while publicly disclosing certain information.”

The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation reported that Trump paid $1.1 million in federal income taxes in his first three years as president, and none in 2020 as his income dropped. According to the New York Times, Trump conveyed that he made hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet incurred chronic losses. He then aggressively employed those losses to avoid paying taxes. The committee is expected to release his actual tax returns in a few days, the Times reported.

The Times had previously analyzed some of Trump’s tax records. Those records revealed that Trump's financial situation was very different from what he claimed it to be, the Times reported.

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