Presidential audits have been official IRS policy since 1977, but they are not mandated by law.

Former President Trump tax returns were published after many years of delay.

The liberation was the result of a multi-year investigation conducted by a committee of the US House of Representatives. The same thing investigation found that the IRS did not audit Trump’s taxes every year he was in office, as is customary for presidents.

A VERIFY viewer messaged us on Instagram asking if the IRS is legally obligated to audit the president’s taxes.


Is the IRS required by law to audit the president?



No, the IRS is not required by law to audit the president. However, conducting such audits has been official IRS policy since 1977.


Official IRS policy is set forth in the Internal Revenue Service Manual. Part 3, Chapter 28, Chapter 3 this instruction states: “The income tax returns of the President and Vice President are subject to mandatory audit.”

In other words, audits. The policy has been in place since 1977 after controversy over whether President Richard Nixon paid taxes.

It was during this controversy that Nixon also began the tradition of presidents publicly releasing their tax returns, a famous saying: “People should know whether their president is a crook or not. Well, I’m not a swindler.” His successor, Gerald Ford, released a condensed version of his tax returns, and every president since then has voluntarily released their full returns — up until Trump.

The tax service implemented audit policy to prevent future disputes – although unlike voluntary returns, the results of audits are not usually made public.

But an official policy is not the same as a legal requirement. There is no law requiring the IRS to audit presidents.

The primary law governing the IRS is this Internal Revenue Code of 1986. And as the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means recognized investigation reportthe policy of mandatory audits is “not currently codified” or prescribed in this law.

In December, then-Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) introduced account it would change the law to require the IRS to audit the president’s tax returns. It quickly passed the House of Representatives – all Democrats voted in favor, plus five Republicans – but never made it to the Senate before the new Congress took office.

Tax service recovered regular audits of the president since Joe Biden took office.

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