The Chairman of House Ways and Means Committee, United States (U.S.) – Richard Neal has written a letter to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner – Charles Rettig, asking him to provide the details of Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns for past 6 years.
The deadline given to IRS is April 23, 2019. This is the second extension given to IRS. Prior to this, Richard Neal had given a deadline of April 10, 2019 which lapsed without any response from IRS.
In case, the new deadline is also missed, the move would be interpreted as a denial, leading to a court battle.
Since 1976, all the Presidential candidate have disclosed their tax returns. Trump is the only one who broke this precedent by not voluntarily disclosing his tax returns to the public during the 2016 Presidential election.
The Democrats are demanding Trump’s tax returns as part of their investigations of possible conflicts of interest between Trump’s continued ownership of extensive business interests, even as he serves the public as President of the country.
Richard Neal wrote in the letter,“I am aware that concerns have been raised regarding my request and the authority of the Committee. Those concerns lack merit Concerns about what the Committee may do with the tax returns and return information are baseless. Please know that, if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request.”
Speaking on the occasion, Trump’s Treasury Chief – Steve Mnuchin, said, “I am sure we will respond by that deadline, not going to make a commitment prematurely whether we’ll be able to conclude a legal review by that deadline,” Mnuchin said. “We have people working on it diligently.”
For the records, Neal is the only member of the House of Representatives who is authorised to request individual tax information under a federal law.
Trump has earlier said that he cannot release his returns as they are being audited by the IRS. The IRS has clearly mentioned that even in case of audit, Trump can release his tax details. Trump’s former personal lawyer – Michael Cohen has said that Trump is afraid of releasing his returns as they could lead to audit and IRS tax penalties.