Former US president Donald Trump’s tax returns have today been published by a Democrat controlled House Committee after he long tried to keep them out of public sight.
The documents shed more light on reports from the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this week that revealed Trump and his wife Melania Trump reported negative income in four out of six years between 2015 and 2020, the period today’s release covers.
Reporting negative income reduced the couple’s federal income tax liability.
The Trumps paid some federal taxes every year, but they reported income-tax liability of $750 or less in three of the six years, the report also said.
The couple’s adjusted gross income tallied negative $53.2m during between 2015 and 2020. Over that period, the Trumps’ total federal tax liability was $4.4m, the report by the Democrat led Committee said.
Trump broke American tradition that dated back to the 1970s when he refused to publish his tax returns while in the Oval Office.
There is no legal requirement for presidents to release their returns, although it is seen as an act of good faith. Current president Joe Biden has published his tax returns.
The US’s equivalent to HMRC, the IRS, is probing the 45th president’s returns from 2015 to 2019, according to a document released earlier this month.
“A president is no ordinary taxpayer. They hold power and influence, unlike any other American. And with great power comes even greater responsibility,” Democrat congressman Richard Neal, chair of the Ways and Means Committee, said.
“Our Constitution insists that no American officeholder is above the law,” he added.
In a response to today’s release, Trump said: “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 great USA divide will now grow far worse. The radical, left Democrats have weaponised 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,” he added.
Read Donald Trump’s tax returns in full here.