US House committee decides to release Trump's tax returns
In a closed-door meeting, the Democratic-led panel decided to make six years' worth of the former president's records public.
A committee in the US House of Representatives has decided to publicly release years' worth of tax returns that were acquired from former President Donald Trump, bringing to an end a protracted legal and political battle that began while he was in office.
Tuesday's closed-door vote by the Ways and Means Committee, a group in charge of reviewing tax-related matters, was considered as the last chance for the Democrat-led panel to bring up the subject. The result was 24-16.
Trump's tax returns from the period between 2015 and 2021, when he was seeking the presidency and in office, will be summarized and provided in the coming days, according to the chairman of the committee, Massachusetts Democrat Richard Neal.
Following the midterm elections in November, the House of Representatives is expected to switch to Republican control in January. The vote on Tuesday has been criticized by Republicans as political.
In the run-up to the vote, Kevin Brady of Texas, the committee's top Republican, stated, "We worry this could unleash a cycle of political vengeance in Congress."
It will also lead to further scrutiny of Trump, who recently announced his intentions to run for another term as president in 2024.
Six years' worth of tax returns for the former president and some of his businesses were in controversy as part of a three-year political battle for the records.
As part of an inquiry into then-President Trump's tax compliance and the Internal Revenue Service's audit program, the committee had initially asked for the tax returns in 2019. (IRS).
Title 26 of the US Code states that the US Treasury Department “shall furnish” the committee with “any return or return information” it requests.
Trump's tax returns, however, were not made public at the time due to Treasury Department policy. Additionally, Trump had previously asserted he was being audited by the IRS and hence was unable to share the materials.
However, the committee found that the IRS did not follow its own rules when it failed to audit Trump’s tax returns during three of his four years in office.
Although the IRS's report suggested that the Trump administration may have ignored a rule mandating audits of a president's tax returns that dates back to 1977, the IRS didn't start looking into Trump's 2016 tax returns until April 3, 2019, more than two years into his administration and just months after Democrats took control of the House.
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