Donald Trump paid only $750 in personal federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and he paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — according to tax returns released by the New York Times.
via USA Today:
Trump dismissed a New York Times investigation into his tax records, which revealed a string of financial losses that helped him avoid paying taxes, and showed the president is beset by hundreds of millions in personal debt that will come due within the next four years. The analysis also found Trump earned millions abroad after he took office, raising questions about whether it conflicts with his role as president.
The president dismissed the story Sunday during a news conference, calling the reporting “totally fake news.”
“Actually I paid the tax, and you’ll see them as soon as my tax returns are done,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “It’s under audit. They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well.”
Trump was the first major presidential candidate in four decades to refuse to release tax returns and has long used the excuse that he cannot reveal them due to an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. However, an audit does not prevent Trump from releasing his records.
The report found Trump is battling the IRS over a tax refund he claimed of nearly $73 million, the total income tax he paid from 2005 to 2008, with interest. Should the IRS render the refund invalid, Trump would have to pay back the money, with interest, and possible penalties for a total that could “exceed $100 million.”
When pressed to give an estimate of how much he paid in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, Trump declined to give any figures.
“I paid a lot and I paid a lot of state income taxes, too,” Trump said. “New York State charges a lot and I paid a lot of money in state.”
Just before the news conference began, The New York Times posted a story saying that Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he won the presidency, and another $750 in 2017, his first year in office.
The Times, citing tax return data it obtained spanning two decades, also said Trump paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years, “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.” Those losses enabled Trump to lower his taxable income, or drop it to zero in some years.
USA TODAY has not confirmed the details of the New York Times report.
The Times said “his reports to the I.R.S. portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes.”
The investigation found that while Trump declared losses, he continued to maintain a luxurious lifestyle by deducting taxes on what could be considered personal expenses, including declaring his estates as investment properties and writing off aircraft travel between his properties as business expenses.
Trump wrote off more than $70,000 for hair-styling services during “The Apprentice.”
The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, also allegedly received “consulting fees” while working as a Trump Organization employee, further helping to reduce the family’s tax bill.
The Times found that Trump made $73 million from his foreign operations. While most of the revenue came from his golf properties in Scotland and Ireland, he also made $3 million from the Philippines, $2.3 million from India and $1 million from Turkey. After he took office, Trump vowed he would no longer pursue foreign deals.
While Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2017, he or his companies paid $145,400 to India, $15,598 to Panama and $156,824 in the Philippines the same year.
Trump will have to repay more than $300 million in loans, which he has personally guaranteed, within the next four years.
The president said that details about his taxes would “all be revealed,” but gave no timeline on when he would disclose his records.
Is anyone really surprised by this? The man is a criminal.