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Donald Trump’s tax returns will be made public at midday after a nearly four-year-long fight that saw the former president fight tooth-and-nail to shield his financial statements from public view. 

The Democrat-controlled House Ways and Means Committee voted last Tuesday evening to release the returns, in a debate that lasted more than three hours behind closed doors. 

The final vote was 24 to 16. All Democrats voted in favor of the action while all Republicans on the panel voted against.

Six years’ worth of Trump’s most recent tax returns will be covered, as well as documents from eight of his businesses. They will be partially-redacted. 

Donald Trump has fought for years to keep his tax returns from the House Ways and Means Committee

That was the original request made by committee chairman Rep. Richard Neal in 2019, after Democrats won back the House majority in their 2018 ‘blue wave.’ 

The former president waged a lengthy legal battle to keep lawmakers from obtaining his tax returns – a fight that went all the way to the Supreme Court.

It’s not known exactly what new information will be unearthed when the returns are released. The New York Times already published extensive reports in 2018 and 2020 based on leaked tax information. 

The 2020 report suggested Trump only $750 in income tax in both 2016 and 2017, with no income tax at all out of 10 of the last 15 years after claiming millions of dollars in losses.

When his businesses improved in 2018/19 he was saddled with a $1.1million tax bill but after the pandemic hit he once against reported huge losses again of $5million which led to him paying $0 in income tax in what was his final year as president.

At the time, Trump denied such findings. ‘It’s fake news, it’s totally fake news. Made up. Fake,’ he said. 

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Before the committees decision to publish the returns, Trump ranted on his Truth Social platform. 

‘All of the so-called experts who think that they know so much about my very successful private company, actually know almost nothing,’ he started. ‘It is a GREAT COMPANY, with lots of cash, some of the greatest assets anywhere in the World, and very little debt. Also, strong on deductions and depreciation.’

‘You will be seeing these numbers soon, but not all from my tax returns, which show relatively little,’ he continued. ‘EVERYONE will be impressed, but the Fake News Media will not be happy, so against their narrative!’

The committee's Democratic chairman Rep. Richard Neal said the decision was 'neither punitive nor malicious' in remarks after last week's vote

The committee’s Democratic chairman Rep. Richard Neal said the decision was ‘neither punitive nor malicious’ in remarks after last week’s vote

Last month, justices rejected Trump’s last-ditch request to stop Democrats on the committee getting the financial documents. None of the six conservative nor three liberal jurists dissented.

‘Regrettably, the deed is done,’ Rep. Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the panel, told reporters in a press conference following the vote. 

‘Over our objections and opposition, Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee have unleashed a dangerous new political weapon that overturns decades of privacy protections for average taxpayers,’ Brady said at his press conference.

Ways and Means committee staffers were seen wheeling boxes full of documents to the panel's chamber last Tuesday afternoon

Ways and Means committee staffers were seen wheeling boxes full of documents to the panel’s chamber last Tuesday afternoon

He claimed it had ‘nothing to do with the stated purpose of reviewing the IRS presidential audit process.’ 

Throughout his remarks, he stressed that Trump’s ‘personal’ returns were at the heart of the matter.

GOP Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, another Ways and Means Republican, called Democrats’ fight for Trump’s taxes a ‘witch hunt.’ 

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Chairman Neal opened his own post-vote remarks by comparing the committee room’s layout to the way it looked on January 6, when furniture was used to barricade doors and windows as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol.

But during his press conference, he insisted the move to release the ex-president’s tax returns was ‘not punitive or malicious.’

Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, the committee's top Republican, claimed 'average taxpayers' will be harmed by the decision to release Trump's taxes

Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, the committee’s top Republican, claimed ‘average taxpayers’ will be harmed by the decision to release Trump’s taxes

The committee released a 29-page report suggesting the IRS was not properly resourced or funded during the Trump administration

The committee released a 29-page report suggesting the IRS was not properly resourced or funded during the Trump administration 

Nevada Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford said after Neal’s remarks: ‘We take our jobs seriously, and this vote tonight was not taken lightly. But we clearly have a lot of work to do to build back the IRS.’

He said the tax agency ‘has been defunded for more than a decade by Republican cuts.’

A subsequent report put out by the committee last week suggests that Trump’s tax returns were significantly overlooked by the IRS during his time in office. 

The Democrat-led report notes that IRS policy mandates a yearly audit on a sitting president and vice president’s individual tax return.

‘The former President’s individual income tax returns filed in 2018, 2019, and 2020 were not selected for examination until after he left office and only the 2016 tax return was subject to a mandatory examination,’ the 29-page file states.

It claims that Trump’s 2015 returns were not even audited until Democrats asked for them in 2019. 

‘[T]he IRS sent a letter to the former President notifying him that his tax year 2015 return was selected for examination on April 3, 2019, which is the date the Chairman sent the initial request to the IRS for the former President’s return information and related tax returns,’ the report states.

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Under Trump’s administration, it states, ‘it was clear that the mandatory audit program was not a priority and was not provided with the resources needed to ensure compliance by the former President.’ 

The committee meeting opened publicly last Tuesday but then quickly became a private session for more than three hours

The committee meeting opened publicly last Tuesday but then quickly became a private session for more than three hours

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a top political foil of Trump’s while he was in office, praised the committee’s work and called for reforms to the IRS audit system with regards to US presidents.

‘The Ways & Means Committee’s solemn oversight work has revealed the urgent need for legislation to ensure the public can trust in real accountability and transparency during the audit of a sitting president’s tax returns – not only in the case of President Trump, but for any president. The American people deserve to know without question that no one is above the law,’ the California Democrat said in a statement late Tuesday night.

‘From Day One, Chairman Richard Neal has brought immense integrity to the committee’s vital oversight and legislative responsibilities.’

Trump defied years of precedent during the 2016 campaign when he refused to release his tax returns while running for president.

He’s held it close to the vest since, but a New York Times report in 2020 uncovered nearly two decades’ worth of Trump tax documents. However, it did not include the most recent at the time, from 2018 and 2019. 

That report showed the ex-president allegedly skirted paying federal income taxes for 11 of the 18 years examined.

Documents released following Tuesday’s House committee vote will give a more updated look at Trump’s finances, although they will end with 2020 – so there won’t be any new information from the year following his departure from office.

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