U.S. House committee releases Trump’s tax returns

United States’ lawmakers Friday released Donald Trump’s tax returns after years of battle by the former president to keep his finances private.

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives committee released Mr Trump’s redacted returns for 2015 through 2020, amid preparations for another run at the White House in 2024.

The development has triggered reactions from Mr Trump, who criticised the lawmakers.

The immediate past US president, who lost his re-election bid after serving a single term between 2017 and 2021, broke with tradition by refusing to release the tax records.

Earlier in December, as part of investigations into the presidential audit programme, the House Ways and Means Committee released a summary of six years of filings, from 2015 to 2020.

The documents showed that Mr Trump was not regularly audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and, despite reporting millions in earnings, he paid little in tax by claiming large business losses.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted on December 20 to release all of Mr Trump’s 2015-2020 returns, ending a four-year battle between Democrats and the former president that eventually reached the Supreme Court.

Details of the returns showed that Mr Trump claimed enormous annual deficits and paid $1.1 million in federal taxes in 2018 and 2019, the middle two years of his presidency, after making around $30 million selling assets.

The data released earlier showed that during the first three years of his presidency, Mr Trump paid $1.1 million in federal income taxes but paid no tax in 2020 as his income nosedived and he recorded massive losses. In his first year as president, Mr Trump paid $750 in federal income tax and reported $12.9 million in losses.

Although details of Mr Trump’s tax returns have been made public, the new revelation detailing records from 2015 through 2020 raises concerns on whether the billionaire profited from tax policies he signed into law as president, most notably the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act which provided a series of tax breaks and cuts for businesses and wealthy people.
Last week, the House Committee said the IRS broke its own rules by not auditing Mr Trump for three out of four years he served as president. “Our findings turned out to be simple — IRS did not begin their mandatory audit of the former president until I made my initial request,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal said in a statement.
A Reuters report quoted Mr Trump to have condemned the steps taken by the Democrats and Supreme court, the consequence of which he said will “…lead to horrible things for so many people.”
“The great USA divide will now grow far worse. The Radical Left Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street!” he said in a statement.
With the new revelation, Mr Trump’s tax data will now be available for analysis and investigations by journalists, tax experts and other concerned professionals in the United States and across the world during the run-up to the 2024 presidential election.

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