Trump’s tax returns released after long fight with Congress

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(CNN) – Six years of Donald Trump’s federal tax returns released on Friday show the former president paid very little in federal income taxes the first and last year of his presidency, claiming huge losses that helped limit his tax bill, among other revelations.

The returns, long shrouded in secrecy, were released to the public on Friday by the House Ways and Means Committee, the culmination of a battle over their disclosure that went to the Supreme Court. They confirm a report issued from the Joint Committee on Taxation that Trump claimed large losses before and throughout his presidency that he carried forward to reduce or practically eliminate his tax burden. For example, his returns show that he carried forward a $105 million loss in 2015 and $73 million in 2016.

The thousands of pages of documents from the former president’s personal and business tax returns – which spanned the years 2015 through 2020 – were obtained by the Democratic-run committee only a few weeks ago after a protracted legal battle. The committee voted last week to release the tax returns, but their release was delayed to redact sensitive personal information like Social Security numbers.

The release of the tax returns follows a years-long pursuit for documents that had typically been made public voluntarily by past U.S. presidents. Trump and his legal team continuously sought to keep his returns secret, arguing that Congress had never wielded its legislative powers to demand a president’s tax returns, which Trump said could have far-reaching implications.

Trump is criticizing the release of his tax returns, saying “Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street!”

“The Democrats should have never done it, the Supreme Court should have never approved it, and it’s going to lead to horrible things for so many people,” Trump said in a statement following the release.

“The ‘Trump’ tax returns once again show how proudly successful I have been and how I have been able to use depreciation and various other tax deductions as an incentive for creating thousands of jobs and magnificent structures and enterprises.”

The tax information could take on added significance now that Trump has launched a campaign for the White House in 2024.

Returns show he held foreign bank accounts while in office

Trump reported having foreign bank accounts between 2015 and 2020, including a bank account in China between 2015 and 2017, his tax returns show.

Trump was required to report the accounts to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The filings show that the former president maintained foreign bank accounts in countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland and China.

The China bank account, which was reported by The New York Times in 2020, was tied to Trump International Hotels Management’s business push in the country, Trump Organization lawyer Alan Garten said at the time.

The 2020 disclosure of business dealings in China came as the Trump campaign sought to portray opponent Joe Biden as a “puppet” of China. Biden’s income tax returns and financial disclosures showed no business dealings or income from China.

Trump is criticizing the release of his tax returns, saying “Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street!” He contends the returns show “how proudly successful I have been.”

The tax information could take on added significance now that Trump has launched a campaign for the White House in 2024.

 

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