House committee releases Donald Trump’s tax returns

WASHINGTON — The House Ways and Means Committee released Donald Trump’s tax returns publicly on Friday, 10 days after a vote along party lines to make them available.

Update 2:54 p.m. EST Dec. 30:

Former President Trump criticized the release of the records in a statement posted to his social media platform.

“The Democrats should have never done it, the Supreme Court should never have approved it, and it’s going to lead to horrible things for so many people,” Trump said in the statement. “The ‘Trump’ tax returns once again show how proudly successful I have been and how I have been able to use depreciation and various other tax deductions as an incentive for creating thousands of jobs and magnificent structures and enterprises.”

Update 9:02 a.m. EST Dec. 30:

The House Ways and Means Committee posted the documents on its website at 9 a.m. EST, days after releasing its report on the former president’s taxes.

Original story:

The House, which is on break for the holidays, voted to release the documents when it met for a routine pro forma session ahead of the new congressional session, which begins Jan. 3, The Associated Press reported.

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The panel voted 24 to 16 to publicly release the returns on Dec. 20, with the votes falling along party lines. The vote was held on the same day that the panel released a report which found the IRS failed to pursue mandatory audits of Trump during his presidency and that the Trump administration may have disregarded an IRS requirement mandating a president’s tax filings to be audited, according to the AP.

The Democratic-controlled committee obtained Trump’s tax returns in November as part of an investigation that ended with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of the committee to release the taxes, Reuters reported.

Republicans have argued that releasing the documents sets a dangerous precedent with regard to the loss of privacy protections, the AP reported. “Regrettably, the deed is done,” Rep. Kevin Brady, the panel’s top Republican member, said.

Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard Neal, has joined Democrats in saying the records show that the IRS’ presidential audit program failed to work as intended, CNN reported.

“This was never about being punitive. It was never about being malicious,” Neal told USA Today.

The summary report released by the committee on Dec. 20 showed that Trump paid $1.1 million in federal income taxes in his first three years as president, and paid no taxes in 2020, The New York Times reported.

The returns in question cover the years while Trump was campaigning and president, from 2015 through 2020, and comprise his personal returns as well as those for several businesses, according to USA Today.

The documents themselves were not released with the reports so that sensitive data in them could be redacted. Democrats on the committee told Reuters that making the returns themselves public was necessary for its report to be fully understood.