Democrats release report on Trump tax returns, revealing income, taxes paid, IRS audit

A report on former President Donald Trump’s tax returns was published Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation by the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Democrats with the committee released their findings Tuesday in a document titled, ‘Report on the Internal Revenue Service’s Mandatory Audit Program Under the Prior Administration (2017-2020).’

A complementary report was also prepared by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).

According to the report, Trump paid little to no federal income taxes on his multimillion-dollar income from 2015 to 2022, as he claimed millions in business losses.

The analysis within the reports conclude that any lack of proper taxation on Trump’s earnings appears to have been ultimately a failing of the IRS and not the result of pressure or obfuscation from the White House.

Trump’s family of enterprises used reported losses, foreign tax credits, deductions, charitable donations, and many other financial maneuvers to great effect in offsetting taxation on profits. 

Read the report:

These business tactics frequently shrank his otherwise sizable tax requirements down to miniscule amounts – sometimes under $1,000, according to the committee.

The committee claims that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) failed to audit Trump effectively while he was in office. However, there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump administration and the IRS, nor are there any records of the former president pushing back against reviews of his tax information.

‘The Committee’s investigation revealed only one mandatory audit was started under the prior Administration and the program was otherwise dormant, at best,’ the report reads in its preface.

Among its findings, the report alleges a lack of oversight of the president due to insufficient resources and undermanned programs.

 ‘The mandatory audit of the former President was conducted, mostly, by one revenue agent. The individual tax return of the former President included the activities of hundreds of related and pass-through entities, numerous schedules, foreign tax credits, and millions of dollars in NOL carryforwards,’ the report reads. ‘The revenue agent noted that the lack of resources was the reason for not pursuing certain issues on the former President’s returns.’

Unlike prior presidents, Trump said he would not release his returns when he ran for the White House in 2016 and was elected even after making that decision.

Republican leaders have said Trump’s election victory showed voters didn’t care, and that there is no reason to pursue Trump’s financial information at this point.

As a result of the report, the Ways and Means Committee has proposed legislating a requirement for the IRS to issue an initial report within 90 days after the submission of a president’s tax returns. 

The committee has also proposed strengthening the IRS with greater resources to handle high-profile and complex tax investigations.

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