Since entering the White House, he has broken with tradition not only by refusing to release his tax returns, but also by engaging in a legal battle to keep them hidden.
A report from New York TimesAccording to which President Donald Trump paid only $ 750 in federal income tax the year he entered the White House – and, thanks to colossal losses, absolutely no income tax in 11 of the 18 years that the Times revised- served to raise doubts about the image that Trump he has himself as a cunning and successful businessman.
The report appeared on a Sunday, a few weeks before the president’s re-election bid served to heighten attention on Trump, a businessman, an identity he has cultivated for decades and that four years ago helped him achieve the presidency in his first contest for political office. The Times report increases the uncertainty surrounding a turbulent presidential campaign, set against the backdrop of a viral pandemic, race riots in several American cities, and a fierce fight for the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Since entering the White House, Trump has broken with the tradition established by his predecessors not just refusing to publish his statements but also engaging in a legal battle to keep them hidden. The Times report suggests why that may have been so. He reports that many of Trump’s top businesses are losing money, even as those losses have helped reduce his federal tax bill to next to nothing.
Eugene Steuerle, a tax expert at the Urban Institute think tank, says he is not surprised that Trump has paid almost no federal tax on his income. Most commercial real estate developers deduct large interest payments from taxable income for your debts, thus reducing your tax bills. They also generally avoid capital gains taxes by investing the proceeds from the sale of one construction in the purchase of another.
“Most tax experts would expect to find little about President Trump’s tax payment,” says Steuerle, who was a Treasury Department official during President Ronald Reagan’s term.
The Times noted that Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, commented on the newspaper’s report that “most of the facts, if not all, appear to be inaccurate” and asked for the documents on which the report was based, that the Times declined to provide to protect its sources. The Times noted that Garten then I had directly questioned just the amount of taxes Trump had paid.
Here are some key takeaways from the Times report:
The newspaper said Trump initially paid $ 95 million in taxes over the 18 years it analyzed. But he managed to recoup most of that money by claiming — and obtaining — an impressive $ 72.9 million refund of federal taxes. According to the Times, Trump also pocketed $ 21.2 million in state refundss and premises that are typically based on federal returns.
Trump’s oversized refund became the subject of an already lengthy audit of his finances by the federal Internal Revenue Service. The audit is widely known. Trump has claimed that this is the very reason he cannot release his statements. But the New York Times report is the first to identify the issue primarily in dispute.
As a result of the refund, Trump paid an average of $ 1.4 million in federal taxes from 2000 to 2017, the Times reported. In contrast, the average US taxpayer of the 0.001% of the highest earners paid about $ 25 million annually during the same period.
From their homes, their plane — and $ 70,000 in hair salon during his television show “The Apprentice: Celebrities” – Trump has capitalized on the financing of a luxurious lifestyle as a business expense.
The Times notes that Trump’s homes, planes and golf courses are part of the family’s business and, as such, the current president also classified them as business expenses. Since companies can deduct business expenses as deductions, all of those expenses have helped reduce Trump’s tax liability.
The president has frequently singled out his vast hotels, golf courses and resorts as proof of his success as a real estate developer and entrepreneur. However, these properties have been draining money.
The Times reported that Trump has claimed $ 315 million in losses since 2000 at his golf courses, including the Trump National Doral near Miami, which Trump has billed as the jewel in the crown of his business empire. Likewise, his Trump International hotel in Washington has lost $ 55 million, according to the Times.
Since Trump began his presidential career, lobbyists, foreign governments and politicians have lavished significant sums of money on his properties, spending wave which raised questions about its relevance and legality.
The New York Times report illustrates how much those disbursements have been: Since 2015, the Trump Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida has received an additional $ 5 million a year from increased membership. The Billy Graham Evangelical Association spent at least $ 397,602 in 2017 on Trump’s hotel in Washington. Overseas projects have yielded an additional millions for Trump: $ 3 million from the Philippines, $ 2.3 million from India and $ 1 million from Turkey.