The Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) has sent a written request to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig for sharing six years of President Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns.
Neal said in a statement issued Wednesday that it is critical to ensure the accountability of government and elected officials, and to maintain trust in our democracy, the American people must be assured that their government is operating properly, as laws intend.
“Congress, as a co-equal branch of government, has a duty to conduct oversight of departments and officials. The Ways and Means Committee in particular has a responsibility to conduct oversight of our voluntary Federal tax system and determine how Americans – including those elected to our highest office – are complying with those laws. It is also our duty to evaluate the operation of the Internal Revenue Service in its administration and enforcement of the tax laws,” the statement added.
It was stated that the IRS has a policy of auditing the tax returns of all sitting presidents and vice-presidents, yet little is known about the effectiveness of this program.
On behalf of the American people, the Ways and Means Committee is supposed to determine if that policy is being followed, and, if so, whether these audits are conducted fully and appropriately.
In order to fairly make that determination, Neal said, we must obtain President Trump’s tax returns and review whether the IRS is carrying out its responsibilities. The Committee has a duty to examine whether Congressional action may be needed to require such audits, and to oversee that they are conducted properly.
“I today submitted to IRS Commissioner Rettig my request for six years of the president’s personal tax returns as well as the returns for some of his business entities. We have completed the necessary groundwork for a request of this magnitude and I am certain we are within our legitimate legislative, legal, and oversight rights,” Neal said.
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