Professor Jed Shugerman is quoted in an AP News article discussing revisions to a bill that would grant congressional committees access to state tax returns filed by President Donald Trump.
Amendments filed over the weekend would revise the bill, so it applies to elected leaders and top public officials like judges, as well as companies in which they have significant ownership or control. The change, expected to be supported by the Democrat-led Senate and Assembly, could ease the way for passage of the overall bill as early as this week.
Under earlier wording, the bill would have applied to any individual or corporation that pays New York taxes.
Democrats say the measure is needed to give congressional committees access to Trump’s tax information despite the Republican administration’s refusal to hand over his federal returns.
Supporters and tax law experts interviewed by the AP had said the privacy concerns were overblown, since Congress already has the power to inspect a taxpayer’s federal returns — unless the Treasury Department refuses their request, as they have done with Trump’s.
“This power already exists. The issue here is that there’s one person on earth – or maybe a handful – who have immunity,” said Fordham University Law Professor Jed Shugerman.
The request for tax returns, which would have to come in writing, would only be granted if it is deemed to have a “specified and legitimate” purpose. State tax officials would be directed to redact information such as Social Security numbers that they deem to be private.