6 Years of Trump Taxes Released by Congress

The reports for the period from 2015 to 2020 were made public following a partisan vote in the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax legislation.

WASHINGTON. On Friday, Congressional Democrats released former President Donald Trump’s six-year tax returns, the culmination of a years-long effort to gather information about the finances of the former business mogul, who violated a decade of political norms by refusing to voluntarily release information. when he was looking for the White House.

The reports, which include redacted some personal sensitive information such as social security and bank account numbers, are from 2015-2020. Their release follows a partisan vote in the House Ways and Means Committee last week to release the reports. The Democratic committee argued that transparency and the rule of law were at stake, while Republicans countered that the release would set a dangerous precedent for losing privacy protections.

Trump refused to release his declarations when he ran for president and fought a legal battle to keep them secret while he was in the White House. But last month the Supreme Court ruled that it should turn them over to the Tax Committee on Ways and Means.

The publication, released just days before Trump’s fellow Republicans take back control of the House of Representatives from Democrats, raises the potential for new revelations about Trump’s finances, which have been shrouded in mystery and intrigue since he was a budding property developer. Manhattan. in the 1980s. The return may take on added significance now that Trump has launched a campaign for the White House in 2024.

They are likely to give the clearest picture of his finances during his time in office.

Trump, known for building skyscrapers and hosting a reality show before winning the White House, provided some limited information about his assets and income in mandatory disclosure forms. He promoted his wealth in the annual financial statements he provides to banks for loans and to financial magazines to justify his place in the world’s billionaire rankings.

Trump’s longtime accounting firm has since disavowed the statements, and New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit alleging that Trump and his Trump organization inflated the value of assets in the statements as part of years of fraud. Trump and his company deny wrongdoing.

This is not the first time Trump’s tax returns have been scrutinized.

In October 2018, The New York Times published a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of op-eds based on leaked tax records that showed that Trump received the modern equivalent of at least $413 million from his father’s estate, with much of that money coming from ” The Times called it “tax evasion” in the 1990s.

A second series in 2020 showed that Trump paid just $750 in federal income tax in 2017 and 2018, and paid no income tax at all for 10 of the last 15 years because he typically lost more money than he made.

In its report last week, the Ways and Means Committee indicated that the Trump administration may have ignored a post-Watergate requirement requiring an audit of the president’s tax returns.

The IRS only began reviewing Trump’s 2016 tax returns on April 3, 2019—more than two years after his presidency—when the committee chairman, Rep. Richard Neal, of Massachusetts, asked the agency for information related to tax returns.

By comparison, President Joe Biden’s audits were for the 2020 and 2021 tax years, said Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman. A spokesman for former President Barack Obama said that Obama has been audited every one of his eight years in office.

The report by the non-partisan Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation raised several red flags about aspects of Trump’s tax returns, including his carryover losses, deductions related to environmental and charitable donations, and loans to his children that could be tax-deductible gifts.

In response, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would require any president’s tax returns to be verified. Republicans strongly opposed the law, voicing concerns that a law requiring audits would violate taxpayer privacy and could lead to audits being used for political purposes.

The measure, approved largely along party lines, has little chance of becoming law anytime soon as a new Republican-led House of Representatives is sworn in in January. Rather, it is seen as a starting point for future efforts to increase oversight of the presidency.

Republicans say Democrats will regret the move once the Republicans take office next week, and they warn that the new GOP committee chairman will be forced to seek out and release tax returns from other prominent figures.

Every president and major party candidate since Richard Nixon has voluntarily released at least summaries of their tax information. Trump has countered this trend as a candidate and as president, repeatedly saying that his taxes are “audited” and cannot be made public.

Trump’s lawyers have repeatedly been denied their bid to keep his tax returns from the House committee. In August, a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s decision granting access to the committee.

Trump’s lawyers also tried and failed 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.

Trump’s longtime accountant, Donald Bender, testified at the Trump Organization’s recent criminal trial in Manhattan that Trump has 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 has been preparing Trump’s personal tax returns for years, 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.

Earlier this month, the Trump organization was convicted on tax fraud charges for helping some executives evade taxes on company-paid perks such as apartments and luxury cars.

Associated Press writer Paul Wiseman of Washington contributed to this report.

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