PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 15: Former US President Donald Trump speaks during an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on November 15, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump announces he’s seeking another term and officially begins his 20th term

The Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee voted along party lines on Tuesday to publicly release Donald Trump’s tax returns, which the then-president has long sought to release. first to be protected.

Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., said supporting materials will be released with the report. The Rep. Texas Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the committee, raised privacy concerns because the documents may contain information such as Social Security numbers.

The report could provide a comprehensive overview of Trump’s personal and business finances, potentially revealing how much he paid in taxes, how much he earned from foreign jobs and whether his income was substantial. -money as suggested by the famous multibillionaire.

The report comes after a years-long battle that led to the Supreme Court clearing the way last month for the Treasury Department to send the returns to Congress. The committee obtained six years of tax returns for Trump and some of his companies.

Democrats are under pressure to take drastic action. With two weeks to go until Republicans officially vacate the House, Tuesday’s meeting is a chance for Democrats to reveal any news they have about a person who continues to shape American politics despite being voted out of office. even re-election in 2020.

THIS IS USEFUL NEWS. Previous AP stories follow below.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee met Tuesday to vote on whether to make public Donald Trump’s tax returns, which the former president has long tried to protect.

Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., closely watched the panel’s actions, which planned to vote on the release in a closed session that could last several hours. And if lawmakers do move forward with plans to issue a refund, it’s unclear how quickly.

But after a years-long battle that culminated in a Supreme Court decision last month for the Treasury Department to send the returns to Congress, Democrats under pressure to act violently. The committee obtained six years of tax returns for Trump and some of his companies. And with two weeks to go until Republicans officially vacate the House, Tuesday’s meeting could be the last chance for Democrats to reveal any information gathered.

Republicans blamed the potential release, saying it would set a dangerous precedent.

Ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the top Republican on the committee, called Trump’s tax cuts a “dangerous new policy weapon” that “even Democrats will regret.” .”

“It’s not that the president should have made public his tax returns, as usual, or the accuracy of his tax returns,” said Brady. “Our concern is that, if adopted, this committee action will set a terrible precedent that unleashes a dangerous new political weapon that goes far beyond previous presidents and reverses existing privacy protections for average Americans.” since the Watergate scandal.”

Trump has long had a difficult relationship with his personal income tax.

As a presidential candidate in 2016, he broke decades by refusing to release his tax returns to the public. He bragged during that year’s presidential debate that he was “smart” because he didn’t pay federal taxes and later said he wouldn’t personally benefit from the 2017 tax cuts he signed into law. a law that favors people with extreme wealth, asking Americans to simply take it. him in his words.

Tax records can be a useful metric to judge business success. The image of a savvy businessman has been a key to his respected political brand during his years as a tabloid magnet and star of the TV show “The Apprentice.” They can also disclose any financial obligations – including foreign debts – that may affect their conduct.

But Americans were in the dark about Trump’s relationship with the IRS until October 2018 and September 2020, when The New York Times published two separate series of articles based on leaked tax records.

The 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning article showed how Trump received the equivalent of at least $413 million from his father’s estate, with most of the money coming from so-called the Times as “tax dodgers” in the 1990s. Trump sued the Times and his niece, Mary Trump, in 2021 for providing the newspaper’s records. In November, Mary Trump asked an appeals court to overturn a judge’s decision to dismiss her claim that her uncle and siblings swindled her out of millions of dollars on the mansion. family in 2001.

The 2020 filings show that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018. Trump has not paid any income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years because he generally lost more money than he gained.

The articles exposed deep inequities in the U.S. tax code because Trump, a famous billionaire, paid less in federal taxes. IRS figures indicate that taxpayers paid an average of $12,200 in 2017, 16 times more than the previous president paid.

Details of Trump’s income from foreign jobs and debt levels were included in the tax filing, which the former president derided as “fake news.”

At the time of the 2020 article, Neal said he saw ethical issues in Trump overseeing a federal agency that also fought legal claims.

“Today, Donald Trump is the head of an agency he sees as an enemy,” Neal said in 2020. “It is imperative that the IRS’s presidential surveillance program remains free of interference.”

The Manhattan district attorney’s office obtained a copy of Trump’s tax records in February 2021 after a lengthy legal battle that included two trips to the Supreme Court.

The office, led by District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., subpoenaed Trump’s accounts in 2019, seeking access to tax returns and related documents during the eight years.

The DA’s office issued the subpoena after Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen told Congress that he lied to tax authorities, the insurance company and his associates about the value of Trump is his property. The allegations are the subject of a fraud lawsuit that New York Attorney General Letitia James filed against Trump and his company in September.

Donald Bender, Trump’s longtime accountant, testified at the Trump Organization’s criminal trial that Trump reported losses on his annual tax returns for a decade, including $ 700 million in 2009 and $200 million in 2010.

Bender, a partner at Mazars USA LLP who spent years preparing Trump’s personal tax returns, said Trump’s reported losses from 2009 to 2018 were saw job losses at some of the many businesses he owns through the Trump Organization.

The Trump Organization was indicted earlier this month on tax fraud charges for helping some executives avoid taxes on corporate benefits such as real estate and luxury cars.

Current Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg told The Associated Press in an interview last week that his office’s investigation into Trump and his company.

“We will follow the situation and continue to work,” Bragg said.

Trump, who refused to release his returns during his 2016 presidential campaign and four years in the White House while saying he was under IRS scrutiny, has argued that little little was available on his tax return even though he fought to keep it. special.

“You can’t learn much from taxes, but it’s illegal to issue them if you don’t own them!” He complained on social media over the weekend.

Kinnard reported from Columbia, South Carolina. Associated Press writers Michael R. Sisak and Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.

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