Home News The release of Trump’s tax returns after a long battle with the US Congress

The release of Trump’s tax returns after a long battle with the US Congress

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A Democratic-controlled House committee on Friday released six years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns in an unusual move, days before Republicans took control of the chamber.

It is the latest blow to Trump, 76, who has been impeached only twice by the Democratic-led House of Representatives and acquitted both times by the US Senate, and now faces multiple legal troubles as he fights for re-election in 2024.

Earlier this month, the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol called on federal prosecutors to indict him on four counts, including obstruction and insubordination.

The release of Trump’s revised 2015-2020 remarks capped a years-long battle between the former Republican president and Democratic lawmakers, which was resolved only last month when the US Supreme Court ruled that he had to turn them over to the House Ways and Means Committee. . .

Trump refused to reveal his statements when he ran for president, and waged a legal battle to keep them secret while he was in the White House.

The former president, known for building skyscrapers and hosting a reality TV show before becoming president in 2016, has provided some limited details about his assets and his income on mandatory disclosure forms. He reassesses his wealth in the annual financial statements he submits to banks to guarantee loans and financial magazines to justify his place in the ranking of billionaires in the world.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal requested the tax returns in 2019, arguing that Congress needed them to determine whether legislation on presidential tax returns was warranted.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, center, speaks to the media Friday after the committee voted to release years of Trump’s tax returns. Along with Neal are Democratic Representatives Judy Chu and Mike Thompson, both from California. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Republicans said the move could be used as a political weapon for personal tax returns and warned that the party members who take over the committee chair next month would come under pressure to pursue a similar course against leading Democrats.

Trump issued a statement shortly after the commission released the tax returns, saying that the political divide in the United States “is only going to get worse now.”

“The Democrats should never have done this, the Supreme Court should never have accepted it, and it would have done terrible things to a lot of people.”

“Left Democrats have everything armed, but remember, it’s a dangerous two-way street.”

Trump, who took office in 2017, was the first presidential candidate in decades not to release his taxes. He sued the commission in an attempt to keep it secret, but the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the commission.

Parliament passed a bill requiring oversight

A report released earlier this month by the nonpartisan Congressional Joint Committee on Taxes raised several red flags about aspects of Trump’s tax returns, including his carry-over losses, deductions for savings and charitable donations, and loans to his children that might be taxable gifts.

The House passed a bill in response that would require an audit of any president’s tax returns. However, the Senate took no action on the bill before adjourning the session during the recess.

Republicans have vehemently opposed the legislation, fearing that a law requiring audits could violate taxpayer privacy and lead to audits being used for political ends.

The measure, which has been approved mostly along party lines, is unlikely to become law anytime soon with the swearing-in in January of the new Republican-led House of Representatives. Instead, it is seen as a springboard for future efforts to tighten control of the presidency.

IRS audits were not conducted in a timely manner

In a report last week, the Ways and Means Committee presented the findings of its review of the documents, saying the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had violated its rules not to audit Trump for three out of four years while he was president.

Details released by the committee earlier showed Trump did not pay income tax in 2020, his last full year in office, despite making millions of dollars in profits from his sprawling business empire.

Records show that Trump’s income and taxes fluctuated widely between 2015 and 2020, during his first campaign for president and the following term. They show that Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, claimed significant deductions and losses and paid little or no income taxes at all for many of those years.

The New York Times published a series of articles in 2020 showing that Trump paid only $750 in federal income tax in 2017 and 2018, as well as no income tax at all in 10 of the past 15 years, overall saying he lost more money than he did. lose it. I was. . made.

Democrats have had a tight timetable for figuring out how to handle the proceeds once they have them, given that Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday after winning a narrow majority in the November midterm elections.

The House passed a bill before leaving for winter recess that would require the IRS to collect audits of presidents’ tax returns within 90 days of the inauguration.

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