U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs for travel to Texas from the White House in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on Saturday set a new April 23 deadline for the Internal Revenue Service to comply with his request for six years of President Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns.
In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal said the tax agency’s failure to comply with the new deadline would be interpreted as a denial of his request. The Trump administration has already failed to comply with an earlier April 10 deadline set by Neal.
Democrats want to review Trump’s taxes as part of their investigations into possible conflicts of interest posted by his continued ownership of extensive business interests, even as he serves the public as president.
Trump broke with a decades-old precedent by refusing to release his returns as a presidential candidate in 2016 and continues to do so as president, saying his tax returns are under IRS audit.
Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, is the only House lawmaker authorized to request taxpayer data from the Treasury, which oversees the IRS. The law says simply that the Treasury “shall furnish” such data when requested. But the White House has said the documents will never be handed over to Democrats.
Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by James Dalgleish