This bill would require major party candidates for president to release their federal income tax returns for the three most recent tax years to the public. If a candidate doesn’t willingly disclose the required tax returns, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) would be able to retrieve the tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and publish them after redacting certain information.
Under current law, there is no requirement for presidential candidates to release their tax returns to the public, but most candidates in recent decades have voluntarily released their returns. Each president since Gerald Ford (who released summary data) has made their returns available to the public according to the Tax History Project.
If enacted, this legislation’s requirement would only apply to candidates from “major parties” — which are defined as political parties that had their presidential candidate receive at least 25 percent of the popular vote in the previous election.