Trump de­fi­ant as tax ques­tions swirl

The Myanmar Times - - World -

DON­ALD Trump re­mained de­fi­ant yes­ter­day as the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date dodged ques­tions that he may have paid no in­come tax for nearly 20 years.

With­out ad­mit­ting fault, Mr Trump’s top al­lies praised their can­di­date’s busi­ness acu­men fol­low­ing a bomb­shell re­port in The New York Times fo­cus­ing the real es­tate mogul’s mas­sive 1995 losses and his clever use of the US tax code.

The re­port comes as Mr Trump and his Demo­cratic ri­val, Hil­lary Clin­ton, have just five more weeks of cam­paign­ing ahead of the Novem­ber 8 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

If true, the re­port is proof of the ty­coon’s “ab­so­lute ge­nius”, said for­mer New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a key Trump sur­ro­gate.

“You have an obli­ga­tion when you run a busi­ness to max­imise the prof­its and if there is a tax law that says I can deduct this, you deduct it,” Mr Giuliani told ABC News.

Bernie San­ders, Ms Clin­ton’s van­quished Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial pri­mary foe who now sup­ports her, had a dif­fer­ent view.

“If ev­ery­body in this coun­try was a ‘ge­nius,’” he told ABC, “we would not have a coun­try.”

Ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments ob­tained by The New York Times, Mr Trump de­clared a loss of nearly US$1 bil­lion on his 1995 in­come tax re­turn, en­abling him to legally avoid pay­ing taxes for al­most two decades.

Mr Trump has re­fused to re­lease his in­come tax re­turns, some­thing US pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates have done for four decades.

He has said the re­turns will be re­leased af­ter an on­go­ing fed­eral tax au­thor­ity au­dit is com­plete. Tax of­fi­cials, how­ever, say he is free to re­lease the doc­u­ments at any time.

While not ad­mit­ting to pay­ing lit­tle or noth­ing in taxes, Mr Trump boasted on Twit­ter that he was an ex­pert on tax law.

“I know our com­plex tax laws bet­ter than any­one who has ever run for pres­i­dent and am the only one who can fix them,” he wrote af­ter The New York Times story ap­peared.

Ms Clin­ton, mean­while, con­tin­ues to garner sup­port. The ex-sec­re­tary of state yes­ter­day re­ceived an en­dorse­ment from NBA bas­ket­ball su­per­star LeBron James, who is a na­tive of Ohio, a piv­otal state in the up­com­ing elec­tion. –

Photo: AFP

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton lis­tens to a Sun­day service at Lit­tle Rock AMC Zion Church in Char­lotte, North Carolina, on Oc­to­ber 2.

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