Donald Trump’s tax returns released after long battle with Congress

Washington: Democrats in Congress free 6-year ex-president Donald Trumphis tax returns on Friday, the culmination of a years-long effort to learn about the financial health of a one-time business magnate who broke decades of political norms when he refused to voluntarily disclose information when he sought The White House. Interest, including redaction of some sensitive personal information such as Social Security and bank account numbers, is from 2015 to 2020.

Their release comes after a partisan vote in the House Ways and Means Committee last week to make the refunds public. Democrats on the Committee argued that transparency and the rule of law were at stake, while Republic countered that the release would set a dangerous precedent regarding the loss of privacy protections.

Trump refused to release his tax returns while running for president and waged a legal battle to keep them secret while he was in the White House. But the Supreme Court ruled last month that he must hand them over to the Commission on Ways and Means of Writing Taxes.

The disclosure, just days before Trump’s Republicans wrest back control of the House from Democrats, raises the possibility of new revelations about Trump’s finances, which have been shrouded in mystery. and plotting since his days as a rising Manhattan real estate developer. in the 1980s. Profits may have more meaning as Trump has kicked off his campaign for the White House in 2024.

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

Trump, known for building skyscrapers and hosting a reality TV show before winning the White House, gave limited details about his holdings and earnings on the platforms. required disclosure form. He has featured his wealth in the annual financial statements he provides to banks to secure loans and to financial journals to justify his position on the board. ranking of the world’s billionaires.

Since then, Trump’s longtime accounting firm has denied the claims, and New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit alleging Trump and his Trump Organization inflated asset values ​​on the claims. as part of a multi-year scam. Trump and his company have denied wrongdoing. This is not the first time Trump’s tax returns have been scrutinized.

In October 2018, The New York Times published a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning articles based on leaked tax records showing that Trump received modern-day equivalents of at least $413 million from financial aid. estate, with most of that money coming from what the Times called “tax avoidance” in the 1990s.

The second series in 2020 shows Trump paying only $750 in federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018, as well as not paying income taxes at all for 10 of the last 15 years because he often loses a lot of money. than the amount earned.

In its report last week, the Ways and Means Committee indicated that the Trump administration may have ignored the Watergate request to audit the president’s tax records.

The IRS only began examining Trump’s 2016 tax records on April 3, 2019 — more than two years into his presidency — when the committee’s chairman, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., requested it. This agency provides information related to tax returns.

Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the White House, said that by comparison, there have been audits of President Joe Biden for the 2020 and 2021 tax years. A spokesman for former President Barack Obama said Mr. audit in every 8 years in office.

A report from Congress’s nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation offered several warning signs about aspects of Trump’s tax filings, including his transfer losses, federal deductions, and tax returns. related to conservation and charitable contributions, and loans to his children may be taxable gifts.

The House of Representatives passed a bill in response to a request to audit any president’s income tax records. Republicans strongly oppose the legislation, raising concerns that the law requiring an audit would violate taxpayer privacy and could lead to audits being weaponized for political gain.

The measure, passed largely partisan, has little chance of becoming law anytime soon with a new Republican-led House of Representatives being sworn into office in January. Instead, it is seen as a starting point for future efforts to increase oversight of the presidency.

Republicans argued that Democrats would regret the move once Republicans take office next week, and they warned that the committee’s new Republican chairman would come under pressure. must search and publicize the tax returns of other famous people.

Every president and major party candidate since Richard Nixon has voluntarily released at least their tax summaries to the public. Trump has bucked that trend as a candidate and as president, repeatedly insisting that his taxes are “under audit” and cannot be released.

Trump’s lawyers have repeatedly been denied requests to withhold his tax returns from the House committee. A three-judge federal appeals court panel in August upheld a lower court’s decision allowing the committee’s access.

Trump’s attorneys also tried but 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 court. Supreme Court.

Trump’s longtime accountant, Donald Bender, testified at the recent Manhattan criminal trial of the Trump Organization that Trump reported losses on his tax returns every year for a decade, including nearly 700 million USD in 2009 and 200 million USD 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 fraud for helping several executives evade taxes on company-paid perks like luxury apartments and cars.


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