Report on Trump Tax Records Reinforces EPIC’s Calls for Presidential Tax Return Disclosure
September 29, 2020
A blockbuster report from the New York Times revealing details of President Trump's tax history underscores the need for transparency of presidential tax returns, which EPIC has repeatedly advocated. The Times reports that the President paid little or no income tax in many years; is due to repay hundreds of millions of dollars in loans in the near term; and that he has "received more money from foreign sources and U.S. interest groups than previously known." The Times also reports that Trump and the Internal Revenue Service reached a tentative agreement in 2014 over a disputed $70 million tax refund—a deal that may have been struck under the IRS's offer in compromise procedures. In EPIC v. IRS II, EPIC is currently litigating for the release of offer in compromise records involving the President and his associated businesses. By law, these records "shall be disclosed to members of the general public." In March, EPIC filed an amicus brief in Trump v. Vance urging the Supreme Court to allow the release of President Trump's tax returns to a New York grand jury. EPIC wrote that the "longstanding practice of disclosing presidential tax returns reflects a central principle of modern democracies: privacy must sometimes yield to accountability." The Court ultimately rejected the President's effort to categorically shield his tax returns from state prosecutors. EPIC also sought public release of President Trump's tax returns in EPIC v. IRS I, arguing that disclosure was necessary to correct numerous factual misstatements made by the President.