New York Times report President Donald Trump paid just $ 750 a year in federal income tax the year he entered the White House – and, thanks to huge losses, 11 of the 18 years reviewed by the Times have had no income tax – served to raise doubts. Trump’s self-image as an ingenious and successful businessman.
That Sunday’s report came just weeks before Trump’s re-election bid focused on the businessman – an identity he had nurtured for decades and helped him win the presidency four years ago in his first run to political office. The Times report deepens the uncertainty surrounding the viral election, racial unrest in American cities and the tumultuous presidential election campaign over the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
Since entering the White House, Trump has not only refused to release his tax returns, but also broken the tradition established by his ancestors by waging a legal battle to hide them. The Times report indicates why that happened. Many of Trump’s top businesses are losing money, claiming that those losses helped narrow down his federal tax bill by virtually nothing.
Eugene Stewerley, a tax expert at the Urban Institute, said it should come as no surprise that Trump almost did not pay federal income tax. Many commercial real estate developers deduct large interest payments on their debts from taxable income, thereby reducing their tax bills. Typically, they often plow profits from selling one building to buying another.
“Many tax experts expected President Trump to find very little in the way of tax payments,” said Stewerley, a Treasury official who served under President Ronald Reagan.
Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump organization, said the Times “felt that the facts were inaccurate, if not more,” about the Times report and asked for documents based on the report, which the Times refused to provide to defend its sources. The Times reported that Garten directly disputed only the amount of taxes Trump paid.
Here are some key actions from Times Reporting:
Trump paid $ 750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017.
Trump initially paid $ 95 million in taxes in the 18 years he studied. But he was able to recover most of that money by claiming and receiving a federal tax refund of $ 72.9 million. According to the Times, Trump pocketed $ 21.2 million in state and local returns, which are generally based on federal filings.
Trump’s Outside Refund has become the subject of a long-term internal Revenue Service audit of his financial situation. The audit is widely known. Trump cited a similar reason for not being able to release his revenue. But the Times report was the first to identify an issue that was primarily in dispute.
As a result of the refund, the Times reported that Trump paid an average of 4 1.4 million federal taxes from 2000 to 2017. In contrast, the top average U.S. taxpayer paid .001% of earners paid $ 25 million a year over the same period.
Trump has provided an extraordinary life with the use of business spending.
From his homes, his plane – and his hair 70,000 hairstyles during the television show “The Apprentice” – Trump used the cost of his businesses to finance a luxurious lifestyle.
The Times reported that Trump’s houses, planes and golf courses were part of the Trump family business, as well as that Trump classified them as business expenses. Since companies can write business expenses as deductions, such costs have helped reduce Trump’s tax liability.
His best-known businesses lose a lot of money.
As a testament to his success as a developer and entrepreneur, the President often referred to his distant hotels, golf courses and resorts. Yet these assets are a drain on money.
The Times reports that Trump has suffered $ 315 million in losses since 2000 on his golf courses, including the Trump National Doral near Miami, which Trump has pictured as the crown jewel of his business empire. Similarly, his Trump International Hotel in Washington lost $ 55 million, the Times reported.
Foreign visitors have features of auxiliary Trump.
Since Trump began his presidency, lobbyists, foreign governments and politicians have levied substantial sums of money on his assets, spending jokes that have raised questions about its ownership and legitimacy.
The Times report illustrates how much that cost is: Since 2015, his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida has taken on more than $ 5 million a year since membership grew. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association spent at least $ 7,377,602 in 2017 at Trump’s Washington Hotel. Foreign projects for Trump have generated millions – $ 3 million from the Philippines, $ 3.3 million from India and $ 1 million from Turkey.
The Trump face becomes financial pressure as debts rise.
Trump is set to face huge financial pressures from the enormous debts he has incurred. The Times reports that the president is responsible for $ 421 million in debt, most of which will fall within four years. On top of that, a $ 100 million mortgage on the Trump Tower in New York will come in 2022.