The tax returns of former President Donald Trump and his wife Melania show they reported negative income in four of the six years between 2015 and 2020, according to a report.
In three of those years, the Trumps reported income tax liability of $750 or less, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The House Ways and Means Committee voted 24-16 along party lines Tuesday evening to release the Trumps’ tax returns for the years 2015 through 2020 following a legal battle that began in 2016.
The full release of the returns is expected in the coming days after all personal information is redacted from them.
In the six-year period covered by the returns, the Trumps’ adjusted gross income totaled negative $53.2 million and their total federal tax liability was $4.4 million, the report said.
The Trumps reported positive adjusted gross income in only two of those six years — $24.4 million in 2018 and $4.4 million in 2019, according to the Journal.
The Trumps paid roughly $1 million in taxes in 2018 and $133,445 in 2019, according to an analysis by the New York Times.
In 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic raged across the country, the Trumps reported a loss of $4.8 million and paid $0 in federal taxes.
The release of the returns follows a protracted legal fight that began in April 2019 and went all the way to the Supreme Court.
The panel’s 29-page executive summary also shows that the IRS failed to conduct a mandatory audit of the Trumps’ tax returns during that period — a requirement dating back to 1977 following a controversy over former President Richard Nixon’s taxes.
The IRS finally began to examine the 2016 returns when committee chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) sent a letter to the federal agency on April 3, 2019 seeking information about the returns.
Trump, 76, who announced last month that he is running for president in 2024, has refused to release his tax returns, saying they were under IRS audit.
A spokesman for the former president characterized the release of the returns as an “unprecedented leak by lame duck Democrats” in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.
“If this injustice can happen to President Trump, it can happen to all Americans without cause,” Steven Cheung told the newspaper, adding that the full release of the returns will reflect Trump’s success as a businessman.
Democratic members of the committee said the release of the returns was necessary for transparency.
“I voted to reinforce this critical principle: No person is above the law, not even a president of the United States,” committee member Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) said.
But Republicans warned that it could set a dangerous precedent.
“Over our objections in opposition, Democrats in the Ways and Means Committee have unleashed a dangerous new political weapon that overturns decades of privacy protections,” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the top GOPer on the panel, told reporters.
“The era of political targeting, and of Congress’s enemies list, is back and every American, every American taxpayer, who may get on the wrong side of the majority in Congress is now at risk,” the Texas lawmaker said.
Earlier this month, a Manhattan trial jury found the Trump Organization guilty of criminal tax fraud.
Prosecutors said that the company helped top executives evade income taxes by providing them off-the-book perks like rent, private school tuition and luxury cars.