Trump ‘may have avoided pay­ing tax for 18 years’

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

A US news­pa­per says it has ob­tained doc­u­ments show­ing ty­coon Don­ald Trump de­clared a loss of more than $900m on his 1995 fed­eral in­come tax re­turn.

The New York Times says the loss was so large it may have en­abled the Repub­li­can can­di­date to avoid pay­ing tax for up to 18 years legally.

His cam­paign has re­fused to pub­lish his tax re­turns and nei­ther con­firmed nor de­nied the scale of his losses.

Demo­cratic can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton has made much of his tax record.

Dur­ing an ac­ri­mo­nious first pres­i­den­tial de­bate on Mon­day, she forced him on to the de­fen­sive for not re­leas­ing his tax re­turns, sug­gest­ing that he was hid­ing “some­thing ter­ri­ble”.

When Mrs Clin­ton ac­cused him of not pay­ing fed­eral in­come tax, Mr Trump replied: “That makes me smart.”

Mrs Clin­ton has pub­licly re­leased nearly 40 years’ worth while Mr Trump’s run­ning mate, Mike Pence, has re­leased 10 years of his tax re­turns.

In its story, the New York Times says the three pages of doc­u­ments were sent last month to one of its re­porters who had writ­ten about Mr Trump’s fi­nances.

A for­mer ac­coun­tant for the prop­erty ty­coon, Jack Mit­nick, whose name ap­pears as Mr Trump’s tax pre­parer of the fil­ings, said the doc­u­ments ap­peared to be au­then­tic copies of por­tions of the 1995 re­turns, ac­cord­ing to the news­pa­per.

On Satur­day, the Trump cam­paign ac­cused the New York Times of being “an ex­ten­sion of the Clin­ton cam­paign”.

Mr Trump, the cam­paign added, was a “highly skilled busi­ness­man who has a fidu­ciary re­spon­si­bil­ity to his busi­ness, his fam­ily and his em­ploy­ees to pay no more tax than legally re­quired.

“That being said, Mr Trump has paid hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in prop­erty taxes, sales and ex­cise taxes, real es­tate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, em­ployee taxes and fed­eral taxes, along with very sub­stan­tial char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tions.”

Since 1976, ev­ery ma­jor US party pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee has re­leased tax re­turns.

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