Donald Trump's Tax Returns Are Now Public: What You Need To Know

Zinger Key Points
  • The House Ways and Means Committee has released President Donald Trump's tax returns.
  • Trump has announced he will be running for president again in 2024.

The House Ways and Means Committee released thousands of pages of President Donald Trump's tax returns from the years 2015 through 2020 on Friday, giving Americans a detailed look into the former president's finances during his time in office.

What Happened? After a lengthy legal battle, the House Ways and Means Committee obtained Trump's tax returns last month and voted to make the returns public last week. On Friday, the committee released the documents on their website at this link.

Related Link: Trump Tax Returns Will Be Released On Friday: Here's What To Expect

Why It's Important: Trump broke with convention during his time in office by not publicly releasing his tax forms, but the House Ways and Means Committee gained access to the forms as part of an investigation into how the IRS audits presidential tax returns. U.S. presidents are not required by law to release their tax forms publicly, but the IRS is required to audit a sitting president's tax forms each year.

Last week, the Joint Committee on Taxation released a summary of Trump's tax forms. Forbes estimates Trump's net worth at $3.2 billion, but the report revealed he declared negative annual income in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020. Trump also paid a total of $1,500 in income taxes in the years 2016 and 2017. He also paid a combined $1.1 million in federal income taxes in 2018 and 2019. Trump and former first lady Melania Trump paid no federal income tax and claimed a $5.47-million refund in 2020.

Related Link: Biden Vs. Trump: How Did Stock Market Returns Compare After Their First Year As President?

Trump's tax forms confirm the findings released in the Joint Committee on Taxation report. Trump critics have said his tax forms are an example of him avoiding taxes and generating huge net losses despite branding himself as a savvy businessman.

Trump's tax forms revealed he paid nearly $1 million in taxes to foreign governments in 2017 while paying only $750 in U.S. federal income tax that year. Yet Trump and his supporters have said his ability to navigate the tax code to avoid a heavy tax burden is simply an example of his business and financial acumen.

In a statement on Friday, Trump said his newly released tax forms "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."

Trump has announced he will be running for president again in 2024, and there doesn't appear at this point there any major bombshells in his tax forms that would meaningfully impact his campaign.

The Joint Committee on Taxation flagged several questionable items in Trump's returns, including large interest payments Trump received from his children that could potentially indicate Trump was disguising gifts. Tax experts and journalists will continue to sort through the large document trove throughout the day looking for any additional newsworthy details.
DWAC Price Action: Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp., the SPAC behind Trump's social media platform Truth Social, were trading 0.68% higher at $15.08 Friday morning. 

Benzinga's Take: Given how hard Trump fought not to release his tax forms, Democrats were likely hoping they would contain clear evidence of wrongdoing. Online prediction market PredictIt currently puts Trump's odds of winning the 2024 election at just 15%, behind incumbent President Joe Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 32% each.

Photo via Shutterstock. 

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