It seems that there is a certain group of people obsessed with the idea of obtaining Donald Trumps tax returns. This group seems to have been reanimated last week when Rep Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) wrote a letter to the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee requesting that they use their authority to request Trumps returns and review them for potential conflicts of interest. I have seen several articles claiming that congress has the authority to review and release confidential tax information without the taxpayers consent, but they are just plain wrong.
There are certain committees of congress that have the authority to review confidential tax information but not to release it without the written consent of the taxpayer or taxpayers involved. Here’s the wording of IRC section 6103(f) which deals with the subject.
(f)Disclosure to Committees of Congress
Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request, except that any return or return information which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session unless such taxpayer otherwise consents in writing to such disclosure.