House committee votes to release Trump’s tax data after yearslong battle to obtain it.

The Internal Revenue Service failed to audit former President Donald J. Trump’s tax filings for his first two years in office despite having a policy that makes the auditing of sitting presidents mandatory, a House committee revealed on Tuesday after an extraordinary vote to make public six years of his tax returns.

Here’s what to know:

  • The House Ways and Means Committee voted Tuesday to publicly release Mr. Trump’s tax returns, the culmination of a yearslong battle during which he defied modern tradition by keeping his finances confidential during his campaign and while in office.

  • After the vote, House Democrats revealed that the materials they obtained showed that the I.R.S. had not audited Mr. Trump during his first two years in office. The agency began an audit only after the chairman of the committee, Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts, requested Mr. Trump’s taxes in 2019. That audit is not complete.

  • After debating behind closed doors for about four hours and 20 minutes on Tuesday, the Democrat-controlled committee approved the release of six years’ worth of Mr. Trump’s tax returns along party lines, 24 to 16. But it could take some time before anything is available to the public. ‌Representative Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat on the committee, told CNN that release of the full cache of tax documents could be delayed for “a few days” to carry out redactions of personal information, such as Social Security numbers.

  • Mr. Neal said the decision to release the information “was not about being punitive. This was not about being malicious.” He also praised the panel’s members because there were no leaks of sensitive information.

  • The ranking member, Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas, condemned the decision after the vote. “So regrettably, the deed is done,” he said. “What was clear today is that public disclosure of President Trump’s private tax returns has nothing to do with the stated purpose of reviewing the I.R.S. presidential audit process.”

  • While the public release of the documents will provide the most up-to-date information about Mr. Trump’s finances, much is already known. The New York Times in 2020 released findings of an investigation into Mr. Trump’s tax-return data covering more than two decades. He paid no federal income taxes in 11 of 18 years that The Times examined; he also reduced his tax bill with questionable measures, including a $72.9 million tax refund that, as of 2020, was the subject of an I.R.S. audit.

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