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US House panel gets access to Donald Trump’s tax returns

Updated on: 02 December,2022 09:12 AM IST  |  Washington
Agencies |

The spokesperson declined to say whether the committee had yet accessed the documents

US House panel gets access to Donald Trump’s tax returns

Donald Trump. Pic/AP

A U.S. House of Representatives committee has obtained access to Donald Trump’s tax returns, following a years-long court fight with the Republican former president who has accused the Democratic-led panel of being politically motivated.

“Treasury has complied with last week’s court decision,” a Treasury Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement late on Wednesday. The spokesperson declined to say whether the committee had yet accessed the documents. The development was reported earlier by CNN.

The Ways and Means Committee obtained the tax returns following a Supreme Court decision clearing their release. It has been seeking the returns spanning 2015 through 2020, which it says it needs to establish whether the Internal Revenue Service is properly auditing presidential returns and whether new legislation is needed.

Also Read: Republicans gain control of US House of Representatives

The panel will have little time to do its work, with Republicans poised to take the House majority in January. Trump, who on Nov. 15 began his third consecutive run for the presidency, fought the committee tooth and nail to avoid releasing them.

He was the first president in four decades not to release his tax returns as he sought to keep secret the details of his wealth and the activities of his real estate company, the Trump Organisation. It had long been customary, though not required, for major party presidential candidates to release their returns.

Trump, who served as president from 2017 to 2021, reported heavy losses from his business enterprises over several years to offset hundreds of millions of dollars in income, according to news media reporting and trial testimony about his finances. That allowed him to pay very little in taxes.

A major question hanging over the committee’s work is what will happen to the returns when Republicans take control of the House from the Democrats. The committee first requested Trump’s returns in 2019.

Trump Organisation’s tax fraud trial 

Closing arguments to the jury by prosecution and defense lawyers were set to begin on Thursday in the criminal tax fraud trial of former US President Donald Trump’s real estate company, which is accused of running a 15-year scheme to defraud tax authorities. The defense rested its case on Monday in a New York state court in Manhattan, having called just two witnesses, after prosecutors presented testimony from five people including star witness Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organisation’s ex-chief financial officer.

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