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U.S. Treasury postpones decision on handing over Donald Trump's tax returns

U.S. Treasury postpones decision on handing over Donald Trump's tax returns”

A top House Democrat on Saturday ratcheted up his demand for access to President Donald Trump's tax returns, telling the IRS that the law clearly gives Congress a right to them.

Federal law gives the chairmen of House Ways and Means, Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation the power to request the returns of any taxpayer, although some legal scholars believe the request needs a legitimate legislative goal, which Democrats say they have met.

However, when April 10 came around, the IRS response came not from Commissioner Charles Rettig but from the Trump cabinet, in the form of a letter from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. "Please know that if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request".

The letter comes just days after the Treasury Department told Neal that it would not meet a one-week deadline to turn over the President's tax information and that it would instead consult with the Justice Department before responding further.

He could not say whether the Treasury, which oversees the IRS, would complete its review of Neal's request by April 23. "Those concerns lack merit".

The issue appears sure to end up in federal court.

But on Saturday, he said the administration would respond by the latest target date.

Neal said in his letter that the request is needed to further "legislative proposals and oversight related to our Federal tax laws, including but not limited to, the extent to which the IRS audits and enforces the Federal tax laws against a President".

William Consovoy, whose firm was retained by Trump to represent him on the matter, has written the Treasury's general counsel and said the congressional request "would set a unsafe precedent" if granted and that the IRS can not legally divulge the information.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that he's being audited and can't publicize his tax returns, breaking with decades of traditions where candidates release their tax returns as they run for president.

Most tax lawyers believe the law is written in such a way that Mnuchin will ultimately likely have to furnish Trump's returns to Congress in some fashion, but there are also tight restrictions on the release of the information.

On Monday, lawmakers in NY proposed a bill that would allow the commissioner of the state's Department of Taxation and Finance to turn over state tax returns if requested by certain congressional committees.

The president has long maintained he will not release his returns while under audit.



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