Released tax info for Trump shows he lost money in four of six covered years

The Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee finally received copies of former President Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns following years of litigation, and as suspected, they wasted little time in publicly exposing at least some of Trump’s confidential financial information.

What was revealed, though, is that rather than corruptly enrich himself while serving in the White House, Trump actually reported losses of tens of millions of dollars over the course of his presidency, according to the New York Post.

In fact, of the six years of returns that were turned over from the IRS to the committee, Trump declared negative income in four of those years.

Trump lost far more income than he gained

Per the Post, between the tax years of 2015-2020, Trump had a combined adjusted gross income of negative $53.2 million.

Trump reported losses of $31.7 million in 2015, $32.4 million in 2016, $12.9 million in 2017, and $4.8 million in 2020. He reported gains of $24.3 million in 2018 and $4.4 million in 2019.

Over that same period, Trump paid the IRS more than $640,000 for 2015, just $750 for each of 2016 and 2017, nearly $1 million for 2018, more than $133,000 for 2019, and $0 for 2020.

This topline information from the former president’s tax returns was selectively released by the Democratic-controlled committee — which voted 24-16 along party lines to do so — and, according to the Post, the returns will purportedly be released in full in the coming days once Trump’s personal information is redacted from them.

Committee issues report on mandatory audit program for presidents

Concurrent with the release of this information about former President Trump’s reported income and taxes paid for the six-year period was a “Final Report” from the House Ways and Means Committee about the IRS’ mandatory audit program for presidents and vice presidents — albeit only as it pertains to Trump’s presidency.

Indeed, despite repeated assertions throughout the years of litigation that Trump’s returns were necessary for the committee to conduct a thorough review of the special IRS program, no returns of any other presidents or vice presidents who have served since the program began in 1977 were requested.

And, as it turns out, that program appears to have been “dormant,” in the words of Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA), at least until after he began to make his requests for Trump’s personal and business returns in 2019, at which point his returns from prior years began to be examined, though only his 2016 return was run through the mandatory audit program.

Report mostly focused on IRS failures and shortcomings

To be sure, the committee’s report took a handful of ubiquitous shots at the former president and raised some baseless allegations and insinuations about certain details of the returns that have not been made fully public yet.

That said, the majority of the report seemed to be focused on the apparent failure of the IRS to conduct the supposedly mandatory annual audits of the sitting president’s tax returns and several recommendations for legislative fixes in that regard.

If, perhaps, the committee had requested a sampling of tax returns for other past presidents not named Trump, it might have been determined if the failure to conduct the annual audits was a standard IRS shortcoming or instead was an anomaly confined solely to the Trump era — which might be an interesting path for the Republican-controlled committee to pursue next year under this new precedent set by their Democratic colleagues.

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