IRS Failed to Audit Trump During Presidency
Donald Trump was the first major party presidential candidate in decades to refuse to release his returns to the public during his 2016 campaign.
Dec. 21, 2022
By Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News (via TNS).
Former President Donald Trump paid no income tax for his final year in the White House despite claiming he is a billionaire mogul and was spared “mandatory” audits by the Internal Revenue Service under unclear circumstances, a congressional report has revealed.
Trump claimed he lost some $5 million in 2020 and therefore paid no taxes when he filed last year, the report from the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee said.
He paid just $750 in federal taxes in 2017, his first year in the White House, when he also claimed massive business losses. In 2018 and 2019, he made money and paid federal taxes.
The Treasury Department under the leadership of his appointees failed to audit Trump despite a policy calling for mandatory audits of sitting presidents, the report said.
“Clearly, the mandatory audit program was dormant, at best, during the [Trump] Administration,” the report said.
Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) called the failure to audit Trump’s complex tax returns a shocking act of apparent corruption during Trump’s single term in office.
“This is a major failure of the IRS under the prior administration, and certainly not what we had hoped to find,” Neal said.
The report was released late Tuesday after a party-line vote by the Democratic-controlled panel. It comes ahead of the public release of redacted versions of six years of Trump’s tax returns in coming days before the end of the year.
The committee obtained the report after a years-long legal battle with Trump that ended when the Supreme Court last month refused to block or delay the Treasury Department from handing over the documents.
Lawmakers say they decided to publicly release the Trump tax returns as part of its effort to tighten oversight over the Internal Revenue Service’s audit program for sitting U.S. presidents.
Trump was the first major party presidential candidate in decades to refuse to release his returns to the public during his 2016 campaign. He repeatedly promised to release them but reneged on every claim.
After he won election, Trump falsely asserted that he couldn’t release the documents because he was under audit.
Trump claims to be fabulously wealthy but he actually lost billions on sketchy schemes, raising questions about his forthrightness and the fairness of the tax code.
Trump’s company was recently convicted in a wide-ranging tax fraud scheme involving paying executives off the books.
The Ways and Means Committee report recommended that Congress pass a law requiring the sitting president’s tax returns be audited by the IRS annually and some details released publicly.
“Such statutory requirement would … restore confidence in the Federal tax system,” the report said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to push to pass such a law although it appears unlikely that Congress will be able to act before Republicans take control of the House after Jan. 1.
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