tax returns

Roll Call Reporters Asked Members of Congress To Release Their Tax Returns. Here’s What They Found
 

Throughout last year’s election and continuing into 2017, Democrats and Republicans alike have called for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. Members of Congress, however, have not faced such pressure to disclose their tax information. Roll Call reporters Stephanie Akin and Sean McMinn set out to answer this question: how many members of Congress will release their own tax returns?

What Voters Can Learn From Tax Returns
Tax returns and annual financial disclosures contain different information

Tax returns provide snapshots of an individual’s annual net taxable income. (Courtesy Ken Teegardin/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Candidates and members of Congress are required by law to file personal financial disclosures that are designed to shed a light on their potential conflicts of interest.

These documents show a lawmakers' assets and liabilities, reported in broad ranges. Tax returns, in contrast, provide snapshots of their annual net income, are subject to audit and require taxpayers to report specific amounts.

In Tax Return Secrecy, Congress Unites
What some lawmakers said when we asked for copies of their returns

Only 37 of 532 members of Congress responded when Roll Call asked for copies of their tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No matter what their political affiliation, members of Congress have this in common: They don’t like releasing their tax returns. Only 37 of the 532 members of the House and Senate responded when Roll Call asked for copies of their tax returns over several weeks, starting in April. Most of them declined to release their tax returns.

Here are some of their responses.

Lawmakers Want Trump’s Tax Returns, but Won’t Release Their Own
Only a handful willing to release documents to Roll Call

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján has called on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ben Ray Luján — like many in Congress — wants President Donald Trump to release his tax returns.

Transparency, the New Mexico Democrat said recently in a Facebook post, “is a cornerstone of democracy.”

Protesters in D.C. Demand Trump Release His Tax Returns
April 15 event on the National Mall coincides with others across U.S.

People gather for the Tax March on the West Lawn of the Capitol to call on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns on Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As Tax Day approaches on Tuesday, April 18, protesters organized a Saturday demonstration in front of the Capitol to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns.

He’s the first president in nearly 40 years to not disclose such information. Similar protests were held across the country.

Democrats Want to Require Trump Nominees to Provide Tax Returns
Senators expressed concern about extremely wealthy Cabinet picks

Protests followed Donald Trump’s refusal to release his own tax returns during the campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats are pushing to require President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees to release their tax returns, something Trump refused to do during his campaign.

Currently the only Senate committees that can require such information are Finance, Budget, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. But Democrats want to expand that authority to other committees that hold confirmation hearings, and plan to propose changing the rules when committees convene for the next Congress in January.

Make the IRS and FBI Disclose Candidates’ Records to the Public
The cost of a spot in a presidential election may be too low

While Hillary Clinton has been unfairly treated by the latest announcement by the FBI, she also deserves blame for her current predicament, writes Jonathan Allen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s an old myth that the bar to elective office is so high that no one truly worthy would ever run.

The idea is that the financial and tax disclosures, rigors of raising money, potential embarrassment and limited rewards of the job are so daunting that a successful person would have to be crazy to trade their privacy and sense of decency for it.

Presidential Politics Hit Senate Floor
Lawmakers try to pass legislation relating to the presidential candidates

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, at podium, is pushing for his tax return transparency bill. Pictured with him, from left, California Sen. Barbara Boxer, Maryland Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin and Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators faced off Thursday over legislation relating to their opposing party's presidential nominees on the Senate floor.

Some Senate Democrats made a last-ditch effort Thursday to pass a law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns. As a response, Republicans tried to pass a bill relating to handling classified information.

Top Senate Democrat: You Wanna Be President? Show Us Your Tax Forms
Ron Wyden wants to force presidential nominees to release their tax returns

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is introducing legislation to require presidential nominees to release three years worth of tax information to the Federal Election Commission. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a clear shot at Donald Trump, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee wants to force presidential nominees to release their tax returns.  

And if candidates like Trump decline to do so? He wants the Internal Revenue Service and federal election officials to do it for them.