- President Donald Trump has repeatedly denied making his tax returns public, claiming that he is undergoing an IRS audit.
- Between 1974 and 2012, every U.S. President besides Gerald Ford has voluntarily released their tax returns to the public while in office.
- U.S. presidents are not required by law to release their individual tax returns.
NEW YORK – A new effort was taken Monday to make U.S. President Donald Trump reveal his tax returns to the public. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that would allow several NY legislative committees to request the president’s state tax returns.
The House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation all have the power to request state tax returns from the state’s tax commissioner. The bill also mandates that any federal tax information will be removed before the state tax returns are granted.
“By amending the law enforcement exception in New York State tax code to include Congressional tax-related committees, this bill gives Congress the ability to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law,” said Cuomo.
The bill does require that a request for a state tax return comes with a certification from any one of those committee’s chair, has a justifiable legislative purpose, and that the committee trying to obtain the tax returns has already requested a federal return from the US Treasury department.
The House Ways and Means Committee previously attempted to gain Trump’s federal tax returns but came up empty-handed after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin determined that there was no legislative purpose for their request.
“This is more Presidential harassment,” said Jay Sekulow, an attorney from Trump’s legal team following Governor Cuomo’s signing. “We will respond to this as appropriate.”
While the amendment signed by Governor Cuomo does not mention President Trump specifically, it is seen by many as the Democrats way to target him.
The President is not required by law to make their tax returns public. However, from 1974 to 2012 every president besides Gerald Ford released their tax returns prior to them being elected. Trump did not do so in 2016 because he claimed he was undergoing an audit by the IRS.
It has been three years since the issue has first begun and Trump still has yet to reveal his taxes. Trump’s decision to keep his taxes private could potentially hurt him in terms of public perception in the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election odds.
By keeping the information private, some Americans could believe that he is hiding something and that may lead them to vote against him.
If state tax returns are to be obtained by New York Committees and there is something unlawful found than that would be detrimental to President Trump’s chances and betting odds to win the 2020 election.
There is also the possibility that nothing unlawful is found and rather the amount that Trump makes is less than previously thought by the public. This may also shift public perception on the President and sway his odds as well.
According to CNN, “There are no immediate plans for the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal to request Trump’s state tax returns as the law outlines, according to a Democratic aide with knowledge of the situation.”