Fork ‘em over!
On Friday, the House Ways and Means Committee finally released portions of Donald Trump’s tax returns that the former president had fought for years to keep hidden.
While Trump’s track record as a beleaguered businessman is well-known, specific details of his finances have largely remained a mystery, thanks in large part to his deliberate efforts to obscure them.
There are literally thousands of documents to read through, so we're going to need a little time.
There are literally thousands of documents to read through, so we're going to need a little time. But here's a little background on how we arrived at this point.
The committee first obtained these tax returns in November, after the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s last-ditch attempt to keep them under wraps. The committee then voted to release the tax returns on Dec. 20.
Friday’s release includes Trump’s tax returns from 2015-2020.
Last week, in the lead up to the release, the Ways and Means Committee shared a pair of reports detailing the Internal Revenue Service’s behavior during that span, including its failure to audit Trump’s tax returns until two years into his presidency, which defied the agency’s guidelines. Ultimately, the committee also found Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, and none in 2020, raising questions about how his tax liability was so small.
The committee also honed in on specific failures of the IRS’ mandatory audit program, which they argued left Trump open to financial manipulation.
“The Committee’s investigation revealed only one mandatory audit was started under the prior Administration and the program was otherwise dormant, at best,” noted the committee's report.
The reasoning seems obvious. Friday’s release is completely misaligned with the GOP agenda. Not only does it call for improving tax enforcement — it blows a hole in the MAGA mythology of Trump as a legitimate businessman and ethical president.