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  • Ashley Baker

Trump Tax Return Case Hinges on IRS Statute, Supreme Court Precedent

...“There is not a lot Congress can do to force him to comply to turn over tax records,” Curt Levey, president of the conservative legal group Committee for Justice, told The Daily Signal.

“Even if Congress demands Trump’s tax records, the IRS can note that Congress mandated confidentiality of tax records,” Levey said. “Democrats could next request records of Republican donors and leak them. Republicans in the executive branch could leak the tax documents of people behind requesting Trump’s tax documents. This could get very dangerous.”

Levey said he doesn’t buy Democrats’ stated reason for seeking Trump’s tax returns.

“They are looking for a way to embarrass him,” Levey said. “Someone as rich as Trump, with so many businesses, likely used legal tax shelters that might be embarrassing, but aren’t illegal.”

The Internal Revenue Code, Section 6103, guarantees the confidentiality of all tax returns.

However, it would still likely be a matter the Supreme Court would have to eventually decide, given the context of a congressional subpoena in the course of oversight of the executive branch, Levey said.

“The Supreme Court takes interest in separation-of-powers arguments,” Levey said. “This is not something the administration will give up on, nor will the Democrats accept any compromise. So, it won’t be settled in any way. It has the hallmarks for a Supreme Court case.”

He said the matter might take a while to get that far—potentially until after the 2020 presidential election.

“There’s not a real reason to expedite it,” Levey said. “There’s not a pressing national security matter, or a matter of complying with a specific law or deadline..."

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