Donald Trump’s tax search is finally over and any secrets Trump has tried to hide for years will soon to be revealed for everyone to see. But one fact is clear: The IRS has screwed up its job.
The IRS is required to conduct checks on the President and Vice President while they are in office. This requirement arose in 1997, likely in response to Concerned about President Nixon’s tax troubles. But policy—in the IRS manual, Section 188.8.131.52.4–not adhered to during Trump’s tenure. During his four-year tenure, the agency opened only one inspection — this 2016 return — which began in 2019 only after House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal sent a letter to the IRS to Find information on Trump’s tax returns and returns. that audit have not completed yet.
As the Commission described, the IRS presidential audit program “hibernated” during Trump’s tenure.
Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise given that Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was the first Treasury Secretary refuse to transfer tax information in response to a congressional request, and when Congress sued to gain compliance, a Trump-appointed judge–Trevor McFadden–delay in ruling on the case until after Trump leaves office.
But it must surely surprise most Americans that among the reasons cited by IRS officials because their disobedience to policy is clear they’ve been intimidated by the complexity of Trump’s taxes. In an internal memo, the agency appeared to complain about tax returns containing “about 400 transitional tax returns…and since some of these are hierarchical…500 in total… conversion tax returns”—meaning that to “thoroughly evaluate these returns, we will need a much larger team than the current team.
A “flow” entity is an entity in which business income is transferred to owners and is often used to reduce taxes.
In short, the IRS rewarded Trump’s complex business structures by raising its hand at the prospect of having to dig into all those hundreds of records. Sorry, but I think that’s what IRS agents love to do?
Note that the agency no interest about following its policies when it comes to audits for President Obama and then Vice President Biden.
It was recently revealed that, under the Trump Administration, the president regularly requests audits of those he considers his political enemies—and invasive audit of former FBI Director Comey and Deputy Director McCabe occurred—should arouse deep concern and trigger closer scrutiny. Such oversight could be done by the agency’s Office of the Inspector General or the Department of Justice’s Internal Revenue Service—not to mention Congress—though it is highly unlikely that the House will continue to work on the matter. because the Republican Party was about to take control of the House.
Chairman Neal and the current Ways and Means Committee have fought hard and lied over repeated claims that their investigation lacked a legitimate purpose. At the same time, Neal stated that their purpose is to exercise oversight of the effectiveness of the President’s audit program and “on behalf of the American people… determine whether that policy has been followed.”
We who have our answer now, and it’s not pretty.