House Passes Legislation To Increase Government Transparency By Codifying Presidential Audit Program
All but five Republicans vote against IRS audits of President Biden and future presidents
Washington, December 22, 2022
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, today welcomed House passage of the Presidential Tax Filings and Audit Transparency Act.
“The House Ways and Means Committee investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s presidential audit program reveals that this critical oversight tool was broken during the Trump presidency and was disregarded by the prior administration up until the moment the Committee requested Trump’s tax information to verify the efficacy of the program. This bill is the end result of the Committee’s investigation, which was explicit in its purpose to identify and solve issues with the IRS’s presidential audit program.
“The Presidential Tax Filings and Audit Transparency Act would codify IRS audits of presidential tax returns with clear, reasonable timetables and public transparency. The bill’s requirement for publication of presidential audits including reports on presidential tax information would subject the current president and future presidents, regardless of party, to the scrutiny to which the previous president has been subjected by this inquiry.
“The transcript will show that when we were in closed session my Republican colleagues voiced support for what this bill does, yet all of them who were present in the meeting voted “No” today. It is unfortunate and deeply cynical that they are completely unwilling to apply transparency and accountability to Republican officials. In this case they have also, perhaps unwittingly, voted against requiring audits and additional public disclosure for President Biden.”
The legislation was introduced by Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal and cosponsored by Beyer in response to the Committee ’s “Report on the Internal Revenue Service’s Mandatory Audit Program,” which showed that Trump was not subject to IRS’ mandatory audit of presidential tax returns for his first two years in office. The bill would codify the requirement that presidential tax returns be audited by the IRS in a timely manner, and require publication of those tax returns.