Beyer Statement On Next Steps After Ways And Means Report On Presidential Tax Information
Washington, December 21, 2022
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, today called for Congress to respond forcefully to the revelations made public by the Committee yesterday. Beyer voted to release the Ways and Means Committee’s “Report on the Internal Revenue Service’s Mandatory Audit Program,” which showed that former president Donald Trump was not subject to IRS’ mandatory audit of presidential tax returns for his first two years in office. Underlying tax information for Trump summarized in the report and in the accompanying Joint Committee on Taxation analysis is expected to be published in the coming days.
“For nearly four years Chairman Neal and our Committee sought Donald Trump’s tax returns to inform our work on tax enforcement, including our understanding of the IRS’ enforcement of tax laws on presidents and vice presidents. The findings detailed in our report completely vindicated that legislative purpose and proved that this inquiry was desperately needed.
“For more than half of Donald Trump’s time in office his tax returns were not audited despite decades-old IRS rules mandating audits of presidential tax returns. The first audit of Trump’s tax returns was initiated the day Chairman Neal sent his first request for those returns, an extraordinarily suspicious coincidence that merits further investigation by Congress.
“I have long thought House Republicans’ scary rhetoric about the IRS, like the years of budget cuts they inflicted on the agency, is intended to shield wealthy tax cheats and large corporations from tax enforcement – but they can prove me wrong. If they genuinely want to make the IRS a better and more transparent agency, and if they want to make tax enforcement more fair, they can use their majority to find out why the mandatory audit of Trump’s tax returns didn’t happen for over two years. Since this seems highly unlikely, I would also welcome further action by the Senate Finance Committee and Chairman Wyden to determine how this happened and whether political pressure was a factor.
“Additionally, I am proud to support the Presidential Tax Filings and Audit Transparency Act, which 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. This was not and is not a partisan exercise, it is a pursuit of transparency, public accountability, and good governance.
“As the transcript will show, when we were in closed session my Republican colleagues repeatedly voiced support for what this bill does. I hope they will join us in voting for it on the House Floor tomorrow.”
Beyer is an original cosponsor of the Presidential Tax Filings and Audit Transparency Act.