The House Ways and Means Committee released six years of former President Donald Trump's tax records Friday, following a prolonged battle and just days before Democrats lose control of the House to the new Republican majority.
Trump had bucked years of precedent in not releasing his tax information while running for office. In January 2016, he told NBC News that "we're working on that now. I have very big returns, as you know, and I have everything all approved and very beautiful and we'll be working that over in the next period of time." Trump then began saying that he was unable to release the returns due to being under an audit, although experts continuously said there was nothing stopping the release of documents during that process.
After taking office, Trump still did not release his returns. While presidents are usually audited by the Internal Revenue Service, the House Ways and Means Committee said those audits were not taking place.
"The Committee expected that these mandatory audits were being conducted promptly and in accordance with IRS policies," Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., said in a statement earlier this month. "However, our review found that under the prior Administration, the program was dormant. We know now, the first mandatory audit was opened two years into his presidency. On the same day this Committee requested his returns."
In 2017, his first year in the White House, Trump paid $750 in federal income tax and reported $12.9 million in losses. According to his 2020 filing, he paid no federal income taxes and claimed a refund of $5.47 million.
In a statement following the release, Trump said his returns show "how proudly successful I have been."
"The Democrats should have never done it, the Supreme Court should have never approved it, and it's going to lead to horrible things for so many people," the former president said. "The great USA divide will now grow far worse. The radical, left Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street! The 'Trump' tax returns once again show how proudly successful I have been and how I have been able to use depreciation and various other tax deductions as an incentive for creating thousands of jobs and magnificent structures and enterprises."
Look through an overview of Trump’s personal tax returns from 2015 to 2020, below: