The House passed legislation Thursday that would reform the Internal Revenue Service’s presidential audit process just days after Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee released a report showing the program did not work properly in relation to former President Donald Trump’s taxes.
The legislation, which passed 222-201, would require the IRS to conduct an audit of a president’s tax returns, as well as the tax returns of a president’s business entities, quickly after they are filed. The legislation would also require the IRS to release public updates on the status of the audit and release the tax returns within 90 days of filing.
The legislation is not expected to be taken up by the Senate before the new Congress is sworn in. Thursday’s vote was a symbolic one for House Democrats before Republicans take the majority in the new Congress.
Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal said the records his panel obtained showed that the presidential audit program failed to work as intended.
The Massachusetts Democrat charged that the required audit of Trump’s taxes “did not occur,” as his returns were only subjected to the mandatory audit once, in 2019, after Democrats had inquired.
“The research that was done as it relates to the mandatory audit program was nonexistent,” Neal told reporters Tuesday.
The committee also released a supplemental report from the Joint Committee on Taxation that included details on Trump’s tax returns from 2015 to 2020, ahead of the planned release of the returns themselves.