On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means committee released a slew of documents related to President Donald Trump's tax returns. The documents had been requested by the public.
Following a closed-door meeting, the panel voted to release six years of Trump's tax records to the public. The documents were made public after House Democrats were granted access to them earlier this month.
The documents show how much Trump paid in taxes during his time in office. There were also several key takeaways from the report.
IRS failed to audit Trump’s records properly while in office
According to the report, the IRS did not carry out an annual audit of the president's tax returns during the first two years of his presidency.
The IRS only started one audit of Trump's returns during his first two years in office, and it wasn't completed before he left office in 2021. It's not clear why the agency did not carry out the audits, though the report doesn't suggest that Trump pressured the agency.
In response to the report, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for legislation that would require the IRS to carry out an audit of the president's taxes. The public has a right to know if the president is above the law.
Trump declared negative income during first years in White House
From 2015 to 2020, the report noted that Trump repeatedly claimed losses to offset his income. He also claimed business losses for several years.
Trump reported paying no income on his federal tax returns from 2015 to 2017. However, a report released by Democrats on Tuesday noted that the president made millions of dollars in annual income from 2015 to 2020.
The report also noted that Trump paid little in taxes during the years he was in office. In 2016, he reported negative income and paid a minimal tax of $750, while in 2017, he claimed a large tax refund of over $5 million.
Trump decried release as part of ‘political game’
Even after he left office, Trump had been fighting to keep his tax returns from being released. Last month, the Supreme Court denied his request to keep his returns from being released.
Trump repeatedly claimed that his tax returns were under audit during his time in office, which justified his decision not to release them to the public. Although it was not required for presidents to release their tax records, Trump's actions broke a tradition that had been followed for several years.
Trump responded to the panel’s vote to release his tax returns publicly on Tuesday, denouncing the move as being politically motivated.
In response to the report, Trump's spokesperson said that if Democrats were so focused on releasing his tax returns, they should also release the returns of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
After six years of Trump's stay in office, the House Ways & Means Committee will release his tax returns for the public to review. It will also provide details about his various financial obligations and charitable donations.
The exact release of the documents will not be known until the panel has completed its redaction process, which involves removing sensitive data such as bank account and social security numbers.