The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for the IRS to turn over former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to a congressional committee following a yearslong battle over the records.
In an order, the court denied Trump a stay to stop the release of six years of his tax records sought by the House Committee on Ways and Means. It was not immediately clear when the records would be released to lawmakers.
Earlier this month, Chief Justice John Roberts issued a temporary hold on turning the records over to lawmakers in order to give the Supreme Court time to consider the former president’s emergency appeal.
Attorneys for Trump argued that the committee’s request for Trump’s tax records was aimed at releasing the documents to the public and not for any legitimate legislative interest. Lower courts earlier rejected the claim and found the committee has broad authority to obtain tax records.
The House Committee on Ways and Means has sought Trump’s tax records since 2019, when committee chair Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., asked for the returns as part of an investigation into the efficacy of the IRS’s Presidential Audit Program.
The Treasury Department declined to hand over records in 2019, saying that the committee lacked a “legitimate legislative purpose” for the request, and the committee sued.
Officials cited Section 6103(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, which states that the Treasury secretary “shall furnish … any return or return information” requested by a handful of lawmakers, including Neal.
In 2021, after President Joe Biden took office, the House Committee on Ways and Means renewed its request for Trump’s tax returns. The White House determined the request was legal and that the Treasury Department had to comply with it.
The Supreme Court previously ruled against Trump in a bid to keep his tax records from prosecutors in New York. The former president has repeatedly resisted requests for his tax returns.