POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Six years of President Trump’s tax returns now public

Dec 30, 2022, 7:56 AM | Updated: Apr 4, 2023, 3:14 pm

Facebook-parent Meta said on Wednesday that it will restore former President Donald Trump's account...

FILE: Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the stage after speaking during an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on November 15, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump announced that he was seeking another term in office and officially launched his 2024 presidential campaign. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Six years of former President Donald Trump’s federal tax returns, long shrouded in secrecy, were released to the public on Friday by the House Ways and Means Committee, the culmination of a battle over their disclosure that went to the Supreme Court.

The returns — spanning the years 2015 through 2020 — were obtained by the Democratic-run committee only a few weeks ago after a protracted legal battle. The committee voted last week to release the tax returns, but their release was delayed to redact sensitive personal information like Social Security numbers.

CNN is currently reviewing the tax returns.

The release of the tax returns follows a years-long pursuit for documents that had typically been made public voluntarily by past US presidents. Trump and his legal team continuously sought to keep his returns secret, arguing that Congress had never wielded its legislative powers to demand a president’s tax returns, which Trump said could have far-reaching implications.

Trump released a campaign video Friday responding to the decision to release his tax returns, calling the move an “outrageous abuse of power” and “completely unconstitutional.”

“There is no legitimate legislative purpose for their action. And if you look at what they’ve done, it’s so sad for our country,” Trump said. “It’s nothing but another deranged political witch hunt which has been going on from the day I came down an escalator in Trump Tower.”

Other Republicans also criticized Democrats’ efforts in pursuit of the tax returns as political, with Texas Rep. Kevin Brady — the committee’s top conservative — saying a release would amount to “a dangerous new political weapon that reaches far beyond the former president and overturns decades of privacy protections for average Americans that have existed since the Watergate reform.”

The committee, which is responsible for overseeing the IRS and writing tax policy, requested the returns under the authority of section 6103 of the US tax code. Their report focused primarily on whether Trump’s tax returns during his time in office were properly audited under the IRS’ mandatory audit program for US presidents.

The committee found that the IRS opened only one “mandatory” audit during Trump’s term — for his 2016 tax return. And that didn’t take place until the fall of 2019, after Chairman Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, first sent a letter asking the IRS for Trump’s returns and tax information. The report characterizes the presidential audit program as “dormant.”

Last week, the House passed a bill that would reform the presidential audit process in a largely symbolic vote before Republicans take the majority in the new Congress. The legislation is not expected to be taken up by the Senate before the new Congress is sworn in.

Included with the committee’s report was an analysis of the numbers from each of the six Trump tax returns by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. Among the JCT’s findings, the then-president paid very little federal income tax in 2017 — just $750 — and nothing in 2020. The report also showed Trump paid a combined $1.1 million in federal income taxes in 2018 and 2019, a stark contrast to the $750 he paid in 2017 and $0 in 2020.

For many years, prior to his running for president, a New York Times investigation showed that Trump had claimed huge net operating losses that he was allowed to carry forward and apply to future tax years, which greatly reduced or simply wiped out his annual income tax liability.

For example, the JCT report noted that Trump carried forward $105 million in losses on his 2015 return, $73 million in 2016, $45 million in 2017 and $23 million in 2018.

The JCT report also raises questions about the accuracy of some huge charitable deductions Trump claimed on several of Trump’s tax returns. Deductions can reduce the amount of income tax owed.

Although the newly released tax returns will not indicate Trump’s net worth or the full extent of his financial dealings, they can offer a window into his businesses’ profits and losses, whether and where he has foreign bank accounts or whether he has paid tax to foreign governments.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Politics + Government

mitt romney at johns hopkins commencement ceremony...

Sam Herrera

Mitt Romney’s commencement speech at Johns Hopkins University interrupted by protesters

Sen. Mitt Romney was briefly interrupted by protestors as he spoke at Johns Hopkins University's commencement ceremony on Thursday,

13 hours ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speaks at the City-County Building in Salt Lake City, May 5, 2...

Aimee Cobabe

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is asking for a pay raise

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is looking to increase her pay for up to 26% which will make an additional $44,000 a year. She is also proposing a 5% pay increase for all city employees for this year.

1 day ago

Senator Mitt Romney addresses ongoing drought conditions in Utah during a Budget Committee hearing ...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Senator Mitt Romney says we should be doing more to combat drought

Senator Mitt Romney is taking a look at how money is being spent on drought-related issues and pushing for more collaboration on the subject.

1 day ago

nikki haley shown, she endorsed trump...

Sam Herrera

Nikki Haley endorses Trump for president

The endorsement comes months after Haley ended her own presidential bid in March.

2 days ago

the us house of representatives shown at the capitol, the house passed a bill about sodium nitrite...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

House passes bill to ban a compound used in suicides

Legislation backed by Rep. Celeste Maloy would ban the consumer sale of sodium nitrite, a product becoming increasingly common in suicides.

2 days ago

Former U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the courtroom after a break on the first day of his t...

Sam Herrera

Defense rests case in Trump hush money trial

The defense in the hush money trial rested its case just a day after the prosecution rested.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Six years of President Trump’s tax returns now public