House Democrats ask IRS for 6 years of Trump's tax returns

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez D-N.Y. listens to questions as Michael Cohen President Donald Trump's former lawyer testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill Wednesday Feb. 27 2019 in Washington. (AP

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez D-N.Y. listens to questions as Michael Cohen President Donald Trump's former lawyer testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill Wednesday Feb. 27 2019 in Washington. (AP

On Wednesday, Chair of the US House Ways and Means Committee Richard E. Neal requested that the US Internal Revenue Service disclose six years of US President Donald Trump's personal and business tax returns, from 2013 to 2018, by April 10.

A top Democrat formally requested on Wednesday that the USA tax agency provide Congress with President Donald Trump's tax returns, setting up a likely legal battle with the White House.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman (a Democrat), Richard E. Neal, based his request to the IRS on an arcane part of the tax code, to request the documents, after months of discussion and deliberation with other committee members, the American media has reported.

President Donald Trump broke with four decades of tradition when he refused to release his income tax returns.

Democrats have officially launched their assault on President Donald Trump's tax returns.

"But I've been under audit because the numbers are big and I guess when you have a name you're audited. I trust that in this spirit, the IRS will comply with Federal law and furnish me with the requested documents in a timely manner".

In February, with Democrats freshly in control of the House of Representatives, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urged patience in going after the tax returns.

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Neal's letter justifies the request by saying the Ways and Means Committee is considering legislative proposals and conducting oversight related to the extent that the IRS audits and enforces federal tax law against a president.

Neal did not say what he will do if the IRS does not comply with his request.

Republican Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, called the request "an abuse of the tax-writing committees' statutory authority".

The request for Trump's tax returns has quickly become the latest political football for cable news debate. The general belief is that the president's refusal to release his tax returns - something which all presidential candidates have historically done - probably indicates that there's something unsavoury in there.

This is the first time Neal's committee has formally requested the returns after wrestling with the decision since Democrats won the House.

Trump used the same excuse he used during the election, noting that he would not release his returns because he was being audited. I wouldn't be averse to turning over my taxes. The committee is also requesting tax returns from eight of the president's business entities.

"Congress, as a co-equal branch of government, has a duty to conduct oversight of departments and officials", Neal wrote to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

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