December 22, 2022

Trump’s Taxes

The IRS failed to pursue mandatory audits of Donald Trump on a timely basis during his presidency, a congressional panel found on Tuesday… The 29-page report was published just hours after the committee voted along party lines to release Trump’s tax returns in the coming days.” AP News

Many on both sides are critical of the committee unilaterally releasing the returns:

“Why make the returns public? How does that help Congress figure out whether the IRS auditing process is working? How does it further the legitimate oversight goals of the committee? Answer: It doesn’t. It turns out the Republicans are right. (This may be the first time since the Civil War.) As they correctly noted, this is a politically motivated move to release information that might harm or embarrass the former president…

“If Congress thinks all presidents or presidential candidates should release their tax returns for public scrutiny — which I believe is a good idea — it should pass a law that mandates that going forward. It should not find circuitous, pretextual ways of going after particular presidents.”
Nicholas Goldberg, Los Angeles Times

“The fine print of [Committee Chairman Richard] Neal’s report acknowledges that five of Mr. Trump’s six individual returns since 2015 were selected for regular IRS examination. So were five of the six returns for his firm, DJT Holdings. By the way, the IRS Commissioner during Mr. Trump’s first year in office was John Koskinen, a holdover appointee of President Obama. The one ‘mandatory’ audit selection took place under Mr. Trump’s nominee, Commissioner Charles Rettig…

“Under the Neal Rule, the incoming GOP House could claim a ‘legislative’ need to release the tax returns of Hunter Biden, groups like Planned Parenthood, or progressive ‘dark money’ donors. Democrats have spent years justifying any action to get Mr. Trump, and releasing his tax returns is another wrecking ball to standards and norms. Democrats could come to regret it—and sooner than they think.”
Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

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