US House committee to release redacted Trump tax filings

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock (10155748e) President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington Trump, Washington, USA - 14 Mar 2019

A US House of Representatives committee voted on Tuesday to release partially redacted tax filings from former President Donald Trump and said tax authorities had failed to properly scrutinize his re-turns while he was in office.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted to release a summary of Trump’s tax returns between 2015 and 2021, the years when he was running for president and serving in the White House, panel members said.

That could lead to more unwelcome scrutiny for the former president as he mounts another White House bid. But the committee also said the US Internal Revenue Service did not follow its own rules when it failed to audit Trump’s tax returns during three of his four years in office. Members said Congress should pass a law to strengthen the presidential audit program.

“What people will likely be surprised about is the extent to which the IRS was not conforming to their own rules,” Democratic Representative Dan Kildee told reporters.

The IRS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Committee chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat, said a redacted summary of Trump’s tax returns would be released within days. Democrats have little time to act, as Republicans are due to take control of the House in January.

It was not clear whether the material would shed light on potential conflicts between Trump’s real-estate holdings and his actions as president, or how much tax he paid on the hundreds of millions of dollars his businesses earned while he was president. Lawmakers said the returns were scant on details.

“I think you’ll be surprised by how little there is,” Democratic Representative Lloyd Doggett told CNN.

Kevin Brady, the panel’s top Republican, told reporters that some of those returns were still being audited, so it was not clear how much tax Trump owed.—AFP