it's tax time
The House Ways and Means Committee voted on Tuesday to release six years' worth of former President Donald Trump's tax returns.
Unlike other modern presidents, Trump, who has touted his decades of success as a businessman, did not voluntarily release his taxes to the public. In early 2019, House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) requested the tax returns, which sparked a long legal battle with Trump that went to the Supreme Court.
Some of Trump's tax records that were obtained by The New York Times show that in 2017 and 2018, he paid $750 in federal income taxes, and he did not pay any income tax during 11 of the 18 years examined because he lost significantly more money than he made. He also "reduced his tax bill with questionable measures," the Times writes, "including a $72.9 million tax refund that, as of 2020, was the subject of an IRS audit."
After the vote, Neal said the decision to release the taxes "was not about being punitive. This was not about being malicious." Democrats say these returns are necessary as part of an assessment of the Internal Revenue Service program that audits presidents, and after the vote, it was revealed that the IRS did not audit Trump's tax returns in the first two years of his presidency.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, told reporters that "what was clear today is that public disclosure of President Trump's private tax returns has nothing to do with the stated purpose of reviewing the IRS presidential audit process." It's not clear when the documents will be made public; Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) told CNN personal information needs to be redacted before the records can be released.