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If Congress Can Get Trump’s Tax Returns – It Can Get YOURS! Tell Your Rep and Senator NO!

I was not terribly concerned about the continuous demands by Dems in Congress for President Trump’s tax returns; I figured privacy laws intervened to protect any Congress member from getting a tax return without perhaps a compelling reason. More grandstanding!

MY concern was raised when I saw this Daily Beast article and read this paragraph:

Under Section 6103 of our tax code, Treasury officials “shall” turn over the tax returns “upon written request” of the chair of either congressional tax committee or the federal employee who runs Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation. No request has ever been refused, a host of former congressional tax aides tell me.

Now let me not correct the Daily Beast (which once showed the [now former] French First Lady topless – no kidding – and no I won’t link to it!) but the law is a lot more nuanced than it seems to the writer here Here it is:


(1) Committee on Ways and Means, Committee on Finance, and Joint Committee on Taxation

Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request, except that any return or return information which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session unless such taxpayer otherwise consents in writing to such disclosure.

Note the limitation: The committee must be sitting in closed executive session! I would think the willful leaking of the return or any part of it would be the very felony that the Daily Beast writer suggests the Secretary of the Treasury might commit by NOT revealing the Trump tax return.

Now the general rule on tax returns is actually confidentiality (from the same statute):

Returns and return information shall be confidential, and except as authorized by this title— (1) no officer or employee of the United States,

Now this law ought to be challenged or altered in a way to protect privacy. There has to be or needs to be a limitation – only in a compelling situation. A fishing expedition to try to find politically embarrassing material or to have the return “examined” by friendly CPAs for alleged fraud that will be immediately proclaimed as impeachable by the legacy media is not such a compelling reason.

But the lesson here is: If the Congress can get Trump’s tax return, it can get yours. I would hope and expect members of Congress ought to hear from you about this issue. I especially would note those now living in Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s district ought to campaign hard: She knows full well about invasions of privacy. Good opportunity for Rep. Spanberger to defy her party as she has promised in numerous ads.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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