The IRS did not audit Donald Trump’s taxes until two years into his presidency, despite his adamant claims to the contrary, the House Ways and Means Committee revealed.
The Democratic-led committee has been trying to get Trump’s tax returns for three years, after he refused to release them during the 2016 presidential election, which is not required but is precedent. Trump repeatedly insisted during the course of his presidency that he couldn’t release them because his taxes were under audit and also far too complicated for the general public to understand.
In 2017, then–White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s tax returns couldn’t be released because “the president’s taxes, no matter who the president is, actually immediately go under audit after being filed.”
Turns out that wasn’t really true.
The House Ways and Means Committee obtained six years’ worth of the former president’s tax returns in late November, despite Trump’s repeated efforts to prevent that from happening. The Ways and Means Committee met behind closed doors Tuesday and voted along party lines to release the documents. They warned, though, it could be several days before the documents are ready for release.
The committee revealed that the IRS failed to audit Trump until 2019, despite a program that makes auditing sitting presidents mandatory. Those audits are not yet completed, according to the committee.
Trump’s tax returns also show he paid $0 in taxes in 2020.
“Actually I paid tax,” he insisted in September 2020. “And you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns are—it’s under audit. They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well.”
The House committee has reviewed six years of tax returns, primarily from Trump’s time in office. The documents include his personal tax information and that of several of his businesses.
Trump has fought long and hard to prevent the release of his tax returns, raising questions about why he would do so.
He seems to be fighting a multifront war, and it is not going super well. The January 6 investigative committee on Monday unanimously recommended the Justice Department pursue criminal charges against Trump for his role in the insurrection.