House releases Trump tax returns

 House releases Trump tax returns

Democrats in the U.S. Congress on Friday released six years of tax returns from former President Donald Trump, the erstwhile business tycoon who broke with decades of political convention by refusing to run on the campaign trail. The President voluntarily released this tax information.

The published tax forms have deleted some sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers and bank account numbers. The time span of the tax forms is from 2015 to 2020, with nearly 6,000 pages, including more than 2,700 pages of Trump and his wife Mela. Nia's personal returns, and more than 3,000 pages of returns for Trump's business entities.

The tax returns were released after a vote by the House Ways and Means Committee last week. Democrats on the committee pointed to the issue as a matter of transparency and the rule of law, while Republicans countered that releasing the returns would set a dangerous precedent that undermines privacy protections.

Trump broke with tradition by not releasing his tax returns when he ran for president and waged a legal battle to keep them secret while in the White House. The U.S. Supreme Court last month refused to block the Treasury Department from turning them over to the House Ways and Means Committee, which is tasked with drafting the tax bill.

Trump said in a statement on Friday: "The Democrats should never have done this, the Supreme Court should never have approved it, it will have dire consequences for many people. The Radical Left Democrats are weaponizing everything But remember, that’s a dangerous two-way street!”

He said the returns “show again how proudly successful I am and how I’ve used depreciation and various other tax breaks as incentives, Thousands of jobs and wonderful buildings and businesses."

The returns highlight how Trump has used the tax code to minimize his tax bill.

A report released last week by Congress's nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation found that Trump paid $641,931 in federal income taxes in 2015 -- the year he began his campaign for president. He then paid $750 in 2016 and 2017, nearly $1 million in 2018, $133,445 in 2019 and nothing in 2020.

Documents released Friday showed that in 2020, more than 150 Trump-owned business entities listed negative amounts for qualified business income, which the IRS defines as "any qualifying income from a qualifying occupation or business." net income, gains, deductions and losses on items”. Combined with nearly $9 million in tax loss carryforwards from previous years, Trump's qualifying losses for the 2020 tax year -- his final year in office -- total more than $58 million.

The released tax returns provide the most detailed picture yet of Trump's finances, which have been shrouded in mystery since he entered the public eye as a Manhattan real estate developer in the 1980s.

The tax return disclosures focus on Trump's tenure in the White House, including foreign tax credits and charitable contributions. Just a month ago, Trump just announced that he would participate in the 2024 US presidential election.

Tax forms show that Trump has claimed foreign tax credits for the taxes he pays on various businesses around the world, including licenses to use his name on developments and golf courses in Scotland and Ireland.

In October 2018, The New York Times published a series of reports based on leaked tax records showing that Trump received at least $413 million in contemporary value from real estate held by his father, Much of it came from what The New York Times dubbed "tax evasion" operations in the 1990s. Those reports later won a Pulitzer Prize.

A second series in the New York Times in 2020 revealed that Trump paid just $750 in federal income tax in 2017 and 2018 and paid no income tax at all in 10 of the past 15 years because he typically lost more money than earned.

In a report last week, the House Ways and Means Committee said the Trump administration may have ignored a post-Watergate request for an audit of the president's tax returns.

It wasn't until April 3, 2019 that the IRS requested information related to Trump's tax returns from Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., then chairman of the Ways and Means Committee began auditing Trump's 2016 tax returns, more than two years into his presidency.

By contrast, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said President Joe Biden was audited for both the 2020 and 2021 tax years. A spokesman for former President Barack Obama said he was audited in each of his eight years in office.

The report by the Joint Committee on Taxation last week showed several alarming signals in Trump's tax returns, including his tax loss carryforwards, deductions related to public welfare protections and charitable contributions, and loans to children -- This may be a taxable gift.

In response, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring an audit of every president's income tax returns. Republicans strongly oppose the legislation, fearing that laws requiring audits would invade taxpayer privacy and could lead to audits being weaponized for political gain.

The measure was approved by Democrats in the House of Representatives, with votes largely along party lines, but with the new Republican-controlled House sworn in in January, the bill is unlikely to become law anytime soon. It is only seen as a starting point for future efforts to increase oversight of the president.

Republicans pointed out that Democrats will regret the move once Republicans take power next week, and they warned that the new Republican chairman of the Ways and Means Committee will face pressure to release the tax returns of other high-profile figures.

Every president and major party presidential candidate since Richard Nixon has voluntarily released at least a summary of their tax information to the public. Trump has rejected that tradition both as a candidate and as president, repeatedly claiming that his tax returns are "under audit" and cannot be released.

Trump's lawyers tried to deny the Ways and Means Committee access to his tax returns but were repeatedly denied. In August, a full three-judge federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling granting the commission access.

Trump's lawyers also tried unsuccessfully to prevent the Manhattan District Attorney's office from accessing Trump's tax records to aid investigations into Trump's business practices, losing two cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.

During the Trump Organization's recent criminal trial in Manhattan, Trump's longtime associate, accountant Donald Bender, testified that Trump had reported losses on his tax returns every year for a decade. , including a loss of nearly $700 million in 2009 and a loss of nearly $200 million in 2010.

The Trump Organization was convicted earlier this month of tax fraud after the company helped certain executives pay for special perks such as condos and luxury cars that the company paid for without paying taxes tax evasion.

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