IRS routinely audited Obama and Biden, raising questions over delays for Trump

By | December 22, 2022

The New York Times reports:

The I.R.S. subjected both President Donald J. Trump’s predecessor and his successor to annual audits of their tax returns once they took office, spokespeople for Barack Obama and President Biden said on Wednesday, intensifying questions about how Mr. Trump escaped such scrutiny until Democrats in the House started inquiring.

Late Tuesday, a House committee revealed that the I.R.S. failed to audit Mr. Trump during his first two years in office despite a rule that states that “the individual tax returns for the president and the vice president are subject to mandatory review.” But its report left unclear whether that lapse reflected general dysfunction or whether Mr. Trump received special treatment.

The disclosure of routine audits of Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden during their time in office suggested that the agency’s treatment of Mr. Trump was an aberration.

“I’m absolutely flabbergasted,” said Nina E. Olson, the national taxpayer advocate from 2001 to 2019. “It’s disturbing. You have a process where you’re auditing the president, you better be auditing the president.”

Reports issued by the Ways and Means Committee, which obtained Mr. Trump’s tax data last month after a yearslong legal battle, said the I.R.S. had initiated its first audit of one of his filings as president in April 2019, the same day that Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts and the committee’s chairman, had inquired about the matter.

The I.R.S. has yet to complete that audit, the report added, and the agency started auditing filings covering Mr. Trump’s income while president only after he left office. Even after the agency belatedly started looking, it assigned only a single agent to examine Mr. Trump’s returns, going up against a large team of lawyers and accountants who objected when the I.R.S. added two more people to help. [Continue reading…]

The New York Times reports:

In his first three years as president, Donald J. Trump paid $1.1 million in federal income taxes before paying no tax as his income dwindled and losses once again mounted in 2020, according to tax data released Tuesday by a House committee.

The data, which includes details of Mr. Trump’s federal tax returns from 2015 through his full term in the White House, shows that he began his presidency suffering the sort of large business losses that had defined much of his career and paid almost nothing in income tax. But his fortunes changed in 2018, as he reported $24.3 million in adjusted gross income and paid nearly $1 million in federal tax.

Mr. Trump’s tax returns show that he was in the black the following year as well, reporting $4.4 million in income and paying $133,445 in tax. But in 2020, as the country staggered under the coronavirus pandemic, his finances reversed course: Mr. Trump reported a loss of $4.8 million and zero income tax.

The fresh details of Mr. Trump’s taxes emerged from two reports released late Tuesday by the House Ways and Means Committee, which had waged a legal battle to obtain the records from the Internal Revenue Service that went all the way to the Supreme Court. The reports contain the committee’s summation of its findings but not the raw tax returns, which are expected to be released in coming days. [Continue reading…]

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