Democrats in Congress released former President Donald Trump’s tax returns for six years on Friday, capping a yearlong effort to learn more about the finances of a business magnate who broke decades of political norms when he refused to voluntarily disclose. that information while aspiring to reach the White House.
The tax returns — which omit certain sensitive personal information, such as bank account numbers and Social Security numbers — are for tax years 2015 through 2020.
They span nearly 6,000 pages, including more than 2,700 of individual statements from Trump and his wife, Melania, and more than 3,000 pages of statements from Trump’s business entities.RELATED
Its publication follows a partisan vote last week in the House Ways and Means Committee to make the statements public. Democrats on the panel argued that transparency and the rule of law were at stake. Republicans countered that the post would set a dangerous precedent regarding the loss of privacy protections.
Trump refused to release his remarks when he ran for president and waged a legal battle to keep them secret while in the White House, but the Supreme Court ruled last month that he must turn them over to the Ways and Means Committee.
“Democrats should never have done it, the Supreme Court should never have approved it, and this is going to lead to horrible things for a lot of people,” Trump wrote in a statement released Friday. “The radical left-wing Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street!”
He stated that the statements “demonstrate once again how proudly successful I have been and how I have been able to use depreciation and other miscellaneous tax deductions as an incentive to create thousands of jobs and magnificent structures and businesses.”
The statements underscore how Trump used tax law to minimize his tax liabilities.
A report from the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation released last week showed that Trump paid $641,931 in federal income taxes in 2015, the year he began his campaign for president. He then paid $750 in 2016 and 2017, nearly a million dollars in 2018, $133,445 in 2019, and nothing in 2020.
As for 2020, documents filed Friday show, more than 150 of Trump’s business entities listed negative qualified business income, which the IRS defines as “the net amount of qualifying items of income, gains, deductions, and losses from any qualified trade or business. In total for that fiscal year, combined with nearly $9 million in cumulative losses from prior years, Trump’s qualifying losses totaled more than $58 million during the final year of his term.
The disclosure — just days before Trump’s Republican cronies retake control of the House, hitherto held by Democrats — raises the potential for new revelations about Trump’s finances, which have been shrouded in mystery and intrigue since his days as an up-and-coming Manhattan real estate developer. in the 1980s.
The tax returns — which focus on Trump’s tenure in the presidency and include foreign tax credits and charitable contributions — could take on added significance now that Trump has launched a campaign to return to the White House in the 2024 election.
Tax returns show that Trump claimed foreign tax credits for taxes he paid on various business ventures around the world, including licensing agreements for the use of his name on real estate development projects and his golf courses in Scotland and Ireland.
Trump, known for building skyscrapers and hosting a reality TV show before winning the White House, gave some limited details about his holdings and income on mandatory disclosure forms. He always promoted his wealth in the annual financial statements he provided to banks to obtain loans and to financial magazines to justify his place in the rankings of the world’s greatest billionaires.
Trump’s accounting firm has since denied those claims, and New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit alleging that Trump and the Trump Organization inflated the values of the assets on the returns as part of a fraud that lasted for years. Trump and his company have denied any wrongdoing.