Trump's Tax Returns Just Dropped. The Pros Are Ready

Tax experts will look for charity donations, real estate income and losses
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2022 8:21 AM CST
Trump's Tax Returns Just Dropped. The Pros Are Ready
Former President Donald Trump arrives to speak at an event at Mar-a-Lago on Nov. 18 in Palm Beach, Florida.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Earlier this month, the Democrat-controlled House Ways and Means Committee voted to release a report on Donald Trump's tax returns. That day has now come: On Friday, the panel publicly released those returns, "pulling back the curtain" on six years' worth of tax records (2015-2020) for the former president, per the AP. Reuters notes the release of the documents—which contain redactions of personal information like Social Security numbers, contact info, and bank account numbers—comes after a three-year battle between the former president and Democratic lawmakers that went all the way to the Supreme Court. It last month rejected Trump's last-ditch emergency appeal to block the release of his tax documents by the Treasury Department.

Per CBS News, it's not clear "whether Americans will learn much from the returns." The House panel already released a few details last week, and "Trump's finances are known to be complex," the outlet notes. Experts will be on the lookout for a few things, however, including the income or losses for each of the hundreds of separate business entities Trump is tied to; how much Trump capitalized on his own celebrity, including with book deals, royalties from The Apprentice reality show, and so forth; and how much he's given to charity. The tax docs could also reveal "how lucrative [it is] to be a real estate developer," as Trump was apparently able to use that status to shelter much of his income from taxes by claiming huge financial losses.

In fact, a New York Times article from 2019 declared that "year after year ... Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer." Trump, who was the first presidential candidate in decades not to release his taxes, had long suggested that he was unable to release his tax records because they were under an IRS audit. Earlier this month, the House Ways and Means Committee released a report showing the IRS didn't audit Trump during the first two years of his presidency, as is mandated. According to a White House spokesperson, President Biden has so far been audited for 2020 and 2021, while former President Obama was audited for all eight years of his time in the Oval Office, per his own rep. (More Trump tax return stories.)

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