IRS must release Trump's taxes to Congress, DOJ rules

The move is a reversal from a 2019 ruling from the Trump-era Office of Legal Counsel 

By Jon Skolnik
Published July 30, 2021 2:03PM (EDT)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with members of the House Ways and Means Committee as ranking member Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) (L) listen September 26, 2017 at the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with members of the House Ways and Means Committee as ranking member Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) (L) listen September 26, 2017 at the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In a pivotal new ruling, the Department of Justice decided that the IRS must hand over Donald Trump's income tax returns to Congress.

The move is a reversal from a 2019 ruling from the Trump-era Office of Legal Counsel which found that House Ways and Means chair Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., did not provide a strong enough request to warrant the release.

Trump's taxes are "a plainly legitimate area for congressional inquiry," according to the new ruling. "The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former President's tax information," the DOJ said this time around, adding: that the "Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee."

"The statute at issue here is unambiguous: 'Upon written request' of the chairman of one of the three congressional tax committees, the Secretary 'shall furnish' the requested tax information to the Committee," the department wrote. 

Throughout his time in office, Trump remained one of the only presidents in modern U.S. history to refuse to release his tax returns, long casting doubt over whether the former president had something to hide. Back in May of 2019, a New York Times investigation found that the former president had suffered from chronic financial losses for years.


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, AlterNet, and The New York Daily News.

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Department Of Justice Doj Irs Ruling Taxes Trump Ways And Means