The New York Times claimed that US President Donald Trump paid only $ 750 in income tax in 2016, which he won the presidency, as well as his first year in office.
According to the newspaper – which says it acquired Trump and his corporate tax records in two decades – Trump has not paid any taxes for ten of the past 15 years.
The records reveal “chronic losses and years of tax evasion,” according to the New York Times.
Trump denied the newspaper report as “fake news.”
After the newspaper’s report was published on Sunday, Trump told reporters: “Actually I’ve paid, but you’ll see it as soon as I finish my tax returns … It’s been under scrutiny for a long time.”
The president added, “(The Internal Revenue Service) is not treating me well … they are treating me very badly. There are people in the Internal Revenue Service who treat me very badly.”
Trump has faced lawsuits after refusing to release documents related to his wealth and business. He is the first president since the 1970s not to disclose his tax returns, although he is not required by law.
The New York Times said that the information in its report “was provided by sources with a legal right to access it.”
The report comes days before the first debate between Trump and his Democratic rival in the upcoming presidential election, Joe Biden, and weeks before the elections scheduled for November 3.
What are the main allegations?
The New York Times said it had seen the tax returns for President Trump and the companies owned by his “Trump Organization” group, for a period extending to the 1990s, in addition to his tax statements for the years 2016 and 2017.
The newspaper claimed that Trump paid an income tax of only 750 dollars for the year 2016, and another 750 dollars for the year 2017, and he also did not pay any income taxes for ten of the past 15 years, “because to a large extent he announced the loss of more money than he earned.”
Before becoming president, Trump became known as a celebrity businessman and real estate mogul.
But the New York Times says that his reports submitted to the Internal Revenue Service “depict a businessman earning hundreds of millions of dollars annually and despite this suffering from chronic losses, he employs heavily to avoid paying taxes.”
In a record year for 2018, President Trump said he earned at least $ 434.9 million. The newspaper argues about this, claiming that the tax returns show that he lost $ 47.4 million.
The Trump group of companies also rejected the allegations published by the newspaper.
Trump’s chief legal officer, Alan Garten, responded to the newspaper’s report, saying: “Most, if not all, the facts seem inaccurate.”
“Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including millions of dollars in personal taxes, since his candidacy was announced in 2015,” Garten added.
What are the other allegations in the report?
The newspaper claimed that “most” Trump’s big companies, such as golf courses and hotels, “report losses in the millions, if not tens of millions, year after year.”
“This equation is an important component of Trump’s money management: using the profits of his fame to buy and support risky businesses, then publicize their losses to avoid taxes,” according to report authors Ross Buettner, Susan Craig and Mike McIntyre.
The report alleges that Trump is personally responsible for more than $ 300 million in loans that must be repaid in the next four years.
He also alleges that some Trump companies have received money from “lobbyists, foreign officials and others seeking an interview, permit or service” from the president.
The newspaper said it used tax records to find out how much income the president is making from his companies abroad, claiming that he had earned $ 73 million from abroad in his first two years in the White House.
Much of that came from his golf courses in Ireland and Scotland, but the paper says the Trump organization has also received money “from licensing deals in countries ruled by leaders with authoritarian tendencies or countries with thorny geopolitics.”
The newspaper claimed that the licensing deals brought in $ 3 million from the Philippines, $ 2.3 million from India, and $ 1 million from Turkey.
The newspaper says that President Trump made $ 427.4 million in 2018 from the proceeds of the US television show “The Apprentice”, as well as from trademark deals where organizations pay to use his name. The newspaper also claims that he made $ 176.5 million by investing in two office buildings that year.
However, The New York Times claims that the president paid almost no taxes on these revenues because he stated that his business incurred large losses.
It also alleges that President Trump is taking advantage of a tax law that enables business owners to “carry over the remaining losses to reduce taxes in the coming years.”
And in 2018, for example, the newspaper says President Trump’s largest golf resort near Miami – Trump National Doral – incurred $ 162.3 million in losses.
Similarly, his two golf courses in Scotland and one in Ireland incurred a combined loss of $ 63.3 million, allegedly.