Trump ‘paid $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017’ and paid no income tax at all in 10 of 15 years -NY Times claims
Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017 according to the New York Times. The paper has obtained tax records for Trump and his companies over two decades and claims he paid no income tax in 10 of the previous 15 years.
The records reveal “chronic losses and years of tax avoidance,” it says.
The President has called the report “fake news.”
“Actually I paid tax. And you’ll see that as soon as my tax return – it’s under audit, they’ve been under audit for a long time,” he told reporters after the story was published on Sunday.
“The IRS [Internal Revenue Service] does not treat me well .. they treat me very badly,” he said.
Mr Trump has faced legal challenges for refusing to share documents concerning his wealth and business. He is the first president since the 1970s not to make his tax returns public.
The Times says information in its report was “provided by sources with legal access to it.”
The report has been published just days before Trump and Joe Biden will have their first presidential debate and weeks away from the 3 November presidential elections.
New York Times key claims
The Times said it reviewed tax returns relating to Trump and the companies owned by the Trump Organization going back to the 1990s, as well as his personal returns for 2016 and 2017.
The report claims Trump paid just $750 in income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, and paid no income tax at all in 10 of the previous 15 years, “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”
Before becoming President, Trump was a celebrity businessman.
But the newspaper says his reports to the IRS “portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet rack up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes.”
In a public filing, Trump said he made at least $434.9m in 2018. The newspaper, however, claims his tax returns show the president had instead gone into the red, with $47.4m in losses.
The Trump Organization also denied the allegations in the report.
The company’s chief legal officer, Alan Garten, told the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts, appears to be inaccurate.”
“Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015,” he said.
‘Trump losing millions’
The report also claims that “most” of Trump’s biggest businesses – such as his golf courses and hotels – “report losing millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars year after year.”
“That equation is a key element of the alchemy of Mr Trump’s finances: using the proceeds of his celebrity to purchase and prop up risky businesses, then wielding their losses to avoid taxes,” it says.
It adds the president is personally responsible for more than $300m in loans, which will come due in the next four years.
The newspaper also alleges that some of Trump’s businesses have received money from “lobbyists, foreign officials and others seeking face time, access or favour” from the president.
The Times says it used tax records to find out how much income the president makes from his companies overseas, alleging that he made $73m in revenue from abroad in his first two years at the White House.
Much of that came from his golf courses in Ireland and Scotland, but the Times says the Trump Organization also received money “from licensing deals in countries with authoritarian-leaning leaders or thorny geopolitics”.
It further alleges that the licensing deals netted $3m from the Philippines, $2.3m from India and £1m from Turkey.
It claims Trump made $427.4m in 2018 in revenues for The Apprentice US series, as well as branding deals where organisations paid to use his name. He also made $176.5m by investing in two office buildings that year, it alleged.
But The Times alleges the president paid almost no taxes on these revenues because he reported his businesses made significant losses.
It also claims Trump has been making use of a tax code that enables business owners to “carry forward leftover losses to reduce taxes in future years.”
Firefighters, teachers and nurses paid more tax than Trump
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat in Washington, said the report showed Trump had taken “extraordinary measures” to “game the tax code and avoid paying his fair share of taxes.”
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has not commented so far, but his campaign team highlighted on Twitter that teachers, firefighters and nurses all paid much more than $750 in tax.
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