Breaking: Trump Tax Returns Demanded From IRS by Democrat Ways and Means Chairman; April 10 Deadline Given

The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), sent a letter to the IRS Wednesday demanding President Trump’s tax returns for 2013 through 2018 as well as for several of Trump’s businesses. CNN broke the story Wednesday evening.

Update: Trump responds:

Rep. Neal, Twitter avatar.

 

CNN reported Neal is using his oversight of tax law as a means to get Trump’s returns.

…Neal wrote that the committee needed Trump’s tax returns to consider legislation related to the IRS’s practice of auditing sitting presidents.
“Under the Internal Revenue Manual, individual income tax returns of a President are subject to mandatory examination, but this practice is IRS policy and not codified in the Federal tax laws,” Neal wrote in a letter to the IRS. “It is necessary for the committee to determine the scope of any such examination and whether it includes a review of underlying business activities required to be reported on the individual income tax return.”
In a statement to CNN, Neal stressed that the committee’s request was about “policy, not politics.”
“My preparations were made on my own track and timeline, entirely independent of other activities in Congress and the administration,” Neal said. “My actions reflect an abiding reverence for our democracy and our institutions, and are in no way based on emotion of the moment or partisanship. I trust that in this spirit, the IRS will comply with federal law and furnish me with the requested documents in a timely manner.”
Neal has given the IRS until April 10 to comply with the request.
CNN also reported the legal context for Neal’s request:
…Under IRS code 6103, only the Joint Committee on Taxation, the House Ways and Means chairman and the Senate Finance Committee chairman have the authority to request the tax information of an individual.
…Democrats believe the statute is clear. Under the code, it says “the secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request.”
President Trump, as is his right, has steadfastly refused to release his tax returns claiming he is under audit, which has driven Democrats mad with desire to see them.
In October 2015, candidate Trump posted a photo of himself signing his several foot high tax return.
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