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Donald Trump’s Tax Returns: What Happens Next?


After a years-long fight, House Democrats finally have access to six years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns. It is now up to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal to decide what to do with it.

Under tax privacy laws, Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, has limited options for what he can do next, but the president also faces growing political pressure to finish what he started and share. information gleaned from statements with the public before Republicans took control. of the House in January.

At this point, aides and members agree that the most likely path is for Neal to convene an executive session of his committee and then decide as a committee what to do next, but the ways and means will also have to weigh the potential fallout from the Trump’s tax release. information.

Now that Trump is officially running for president, any decision will be considered politically and could have major ramifications for how Congress handles politicians’ tax information in the future.

Unlike his predecessors, Trump never made his tax returns public during the campaign, a move that broke with tradition and infuriated Democrats who argued publicly that the move prevented the American public from fully understanding the entanglements. Trump financiers.

By releasing the returns, Neal could finally unveil the mystery to American voters. But this decision could also have political costs. Posting the comebacks for fun was never what Democrats argued in court. During their years-long legal battle, Democrats argued they needed the feedback to understand how a murky process known as the presidential audit program worked and whether Congress should pass legislation that would define more clearly how the program should be applied.

Traditionally, every president and vice president has their taxes audited when they take office. Usually the returns come as no surprise because the candidate dropped them on the trail, but in Trump’s case the routine audit mattered more.

While Neal could still use the information gathered from the returns to draft legislation, Democrats are expected to lose the House within weeks with little time to pass major legislation to overhaul the presidential audit program.

Public reports on Trump’s tax returns have already revealed a lot about the former president’s taxes. A massive New York Times report in 2020 found that Trump failed to pay federal income tax for 10 out of 15 years from 2000. Tax law allowed this practice because Trump reported such large losses. on his federal returns.

But Neal’s request also included tax returns for several Trump business entities, which could shed new light on how the former president did business.

Neal requested Trump’s personal income tax returns for the years 2013 through 2018. Neal also requested returns from the IRS for eight of Trump’s business entities, including his Bedminster Golf Club and any information about the length of the IRS audits of Trump’s taxes. The 2019 request also asked the IRS to include “administrative records” that existed with Trump’s tax returns. This could include affidavits and working papers surrounding each statement and could provide a treasure trove of additional information for the committee.

The New York Times report made it clear that they did not have Trump’s 2018 or 2019 tax returns. Neal requested Trump’s 2018 return.

Neal said once Republicans have a majority in the House, it’s up to them what they want to do with the returns.

“I intend to go all the way. There is a period of time where we are still in the majority for the next 33 days. I tend to go all the way,” Neal said. “After that, everyone can talk about what they do after that. I expect them not to check in with me either.


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