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Democrat calls for hearing with IRS chief after NYT story on Trump's taxes

Democrat calls for hearing with IRS chief after NYT story on Trump's taxes
© Aaron Schwartz

Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellHouse Democrats urge congressional leaders to support .1B budget for IRS Press: Trump's biggest fear is — lock him up Biden faces politically thorny decision on Trump prosecutions MORE (D-N.J.), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight, on Wednesday requested that IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig testify before his panel, following a report from The New York Times on Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE paid little-to-no federal income taxes in many recent years.

Pascrell said in a letter that he wants Rettig to testify before the subcommittee in early October, at a hearing that will focus on "general oversight of IRS operations with a particular focus on issues of tax compliance, including those raised by the reports of Donald Trump’s tax returns, the distribution of Economic Impact Payments, backlogs and the impact of COVID-19."

The New York Times reported that Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. Pascrell said that the takeaway from the article for most Americans is that "our Federal tax system is stacked against the average American and being gamed by bad actors like Mr. Trump."

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Pascrell expressed concerns that the Times article could pose a risk to the public's confidence in the IRS.

"As Commissioner of the IRS, you must ensure that our tax system is unshakably supported by rigorous enforcement and that all taxpayers, including public officials, comply with the tax laws," he wrote to Rettig. "You must foster trust and confidence in our tax system and tax administration. However, I fear the reported information undermines Americans’ confidence in our tax system."

In addition to asking Rettig to testify at a hearing, Pascrell also urged him to comply with the Ways and Means Committee's request to the IRS, made last year, for Trump's personal and business tax returns. The Trump administration has rejected the request, and the dispute is currently the subject of litigation.