Justice Department Orders IRS to Release Donald Trump’s Tax Returns to Congress
The United States Department of Justice on Friday ordered the Internal Revenue Service to hand over six years of former President Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns to Congress, dealing a huge blow to the ex-commander in chief’s efforts to keep his financial records hidden from public view.
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel wrote in a 39-page opinion that the House Ways and Means Committee had made a legitimate request for access to Trump’s tax statements and that the IRS is legally obligated to comply.
“Section 6103(f)(1), at issue here, provides that the Secretary of the Treasury (‘Secretary’) ‘shall furnish’ such information to any of the three congressional tax committees—the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the Joint Committee on Taxation—'[u]pon written request from the chairman’ of one of those committees. In April 2019, Representative Richard Neal, the Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means (‘Committee’), cited section 6103(f) in a written request to the IRS to provide the Committee with the preceding six years of then-President Donald Trump’s individual tax 45 Op. O.L.C. __ (July 30, 2021) 2 returns, as well as the tax returns of eight Trump-related businesses,” the DOJ OLC wrote.
“Treasury’s assessment of the Committee’s ‘actual purpose’ was not Ways and Means Committee’s Request for the Former President’s Tax Returns only ‘reasonabl[e]’ but ‘correct,'” it said. “The statute at issue here is unambiguous: ‘Upon written request’ of the chairman of one of the three congressional tax committees, the Secretary ‘shall furnish’ the requested tax information to the Committee.”