NY TIMES SAYS TRUMP PAID $750 IN U.S. IN­COME TAXES IN 2016, 2017

BusinessMirror - - The World -

Presid ent Don­ald J. Trump paid just $ 750 in fed­eral in­come taxes the year he ran for pres­i­dent and in his first year in the White House, ac­cord­ing to a re­port on Sun­day in The New York Times.

Trump, who has fiercely guarded his tax fil­ings and is the only pres­i­dent in mod­ern times not to make them public, paid no fed­eral in­come taxes in 10 of the past 15 years.

The de­tails of the tax fil­ings com­pli­cate Trump’s de­scrip­tion of him­self as a shrewd and pa­tri­otic busi­ness­man, re­veal­ing in­stead a se­ries of fi­nan­cial losses and in­come from abroad that could come into con­flict with his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as pres­i­dent. The pres­i­dent’s fi­nan­cial dis­clo­sures in­di­cated he earned at least $ 434.9 mil­lion in 2018, but the tax fil­ings re­ported a $ 47.4 mil­lion loss.

The tax fil­ings also il­lus­trate how a re­puted bil­lion­aire could pay lit­tle to noth­ing in taxes, while some­one in the mid­dle class could pay sub­stan­tially more than him. Roughly half of Amer­i­cans pay no in­come taxes, pri­mar­ily be­cause of how low their in­comes are. But IRS fig­ures in­di­cate that the av­er­age tax filer paid roughly $ 12,200 in 2017, about 16 times more than what the pres­i­dent paid.

The dis­clo­sure, which the Times said comes from tax re­turn data it ob­tained ex­tend­ing over two decades, comes at a piv­otal mo­ment ahead of the first pres­i­den­tial de­bate Tues­day and weeks be­fore a di­vi­sive elec­tion against Demo­crat Joe Bi­den.

Speak­ing at a news con­fer­ence on Sun­day at the White House, Trump dis­missed the re­port as “fake news” and main­tained he has paid taxes, though he gave no specifics. He also vowed that in­for­ma­tion about his taxes “will all be re­vealed,” but he of­fered no time­line for the dis­clo­sure and made sim­i­lar prom­ises dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign on which he never fol­lowed through.

In fact, the pres­i­dent has fielded court chal­lenges against those seek­ing ac­cess to his re­turns, in­clud­ing the US House, which is su­ing to get Trump’s tax re­turns as part of con­gres­sional over­sight.

Dur­ing his first two years as pres­i­dent, Trump re­ceived $ 73 mil­lion from for­eign oper­a­tions, which in ad­di­tion to his golf prop­er­ties in Scot­land and Ire­land in­cluded $ 3 mil­lion from the Philip­pines, $ 2.3 mil­lion from In­dia and $ 1 mil­lion from Tur­key, among other na­tions. The pres­i­dent in 2017 paid $ 145,400 in taxes in In­dia and $ 156,824 in the Philip­pines, com­pared to just $ 750 in US in­come taxes. The Times said the tax records did not re­veal any un­re­ported con­nec­tions to Rus­sia.

Trump found mul­ti­ple ways to re­duce his tax bills. He has taken tax de­duc­tions on per­sonal ex­penses such as hous­ing, air­craft and $ 70,000 to style his hair while he filmed “The Ap­pren­tice.” Losses in the prop­erty busi­nesses solely owned and man­aged by Trump ap­pear to have off­set in­come from his stake in “The Ap­pren­tice” and other en­ti­ties with mul­ti­ple own­ers.

Dur­ing the first two years of his pres­i­dency, Trump re­lied on busi­ness tax cred­its to re­duce his tax obli­ga­tions. The Times said $ 9.7 mil­lion worth of busi­ness in­vest­ment cred­its that were sub­mit­ted after Trump re­quested an ex­ten­sion to file his taxes al­lowed him to off­set his obli­ga­tions and pay just $ 750 each in 2016 and 2017.

In­come tax pay­ments help fi­nance the mil­i­tary and domestic pro­grams.

Trump, start­ing in 2010, claimed and re­ceived an in­come tax re­fund that to­taled $ 72.9 mil­lion, which the Times said was at the core of an on­go­ing audit by the IRS. The Times said a rul­ing against Trump could cost him $ 100 mil­lion or more.

The pres­i­dent could also face mount­ing fi­nan­cial pres­sure in the years ahead. The tax records show he’s car­ry­ing a to­tal of $ 421 mil­lion in loans and debt that are pri­mar­ily due within four years. Most of that debt comes from the Do­ral golf re­sort in Florida ($ 125 mil­lion) and Trump’s Wash­ing­ton ho­tel ($ 160 mil­lion), two prop­er­ties that the Times said are strug­gling fi­nan­cially.

Richard Neal, D- Mass., the chair of the House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee who has tried un­suc­cess­fully to ob­tain Trump’s tax records, said the Times re­port makes it even more es­sen­tial for his com­mit­tee to get the doc­u­ments.

“It ap­pears that the Pres­i­dent has gamed the tax code to his ad­van­tage and used le­gal fights to de­lay or avoid pay­ing what he owes,” Neal wrote in a state­ment. “Now, Don­ald Trump is the boss of the agency he con­sid­ers an ad­ver­sary. It is es­sen­tial that the IRS’S pres­i­den­tial audit pro­gram re­main free of in­ter­fer­ence.”

A lawyer for the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Alan Gar ten, and a spokesper­son for the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment from The As­so­ci­ated Press on the re­port.

Garten told the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts ap­pear to be in­ac­cu­rate.”

He said in a state­ment to the news or­ga­ni­za­tion that the pres­i­dent “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.”

The New York Times said it de­clined to pro­vide Garten with the tax fil­ings in or­der to pro­tect its sources, but it said its sources had le­gal ac­cess to the records.

Dur­ing his first gen­eral elec­tion de­bate against Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton in 2016, Clin­ton said that per­haps Trump wasn’t re­leas­ing his tax re­turns be­cause he had paid noth­ing in fed­eral taxes.

Trump in­ter­rupted her to say, “That makes me smart.”

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