Two days removed from the first presidential debate, The New York Times dropped a bombshell report Sunday on President Trump’s tax returns — revealing that the alleged billionaire president did not pay a dime to the federal government in 10 of the last 15 years.
According to the Times report, Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he was elected president. The following year, he paid the exact same amount as he began his term in office.
The Times reported that it had “obtained tax-return data extending over more than two decades” for Trump and the hundreds of companies in his corporation. The report does not include Trump’s income tax data for 2018 and 2019.
The data revealed that Trump, through his filings, had portrayed himself as “a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year, yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes,” as the Times reported.
Further examination of the records also indicated that Trump “depends more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest” with his duties as commander in chief.
The Times examination further revealed that Trump and his businesses, in 2017, paid far more than $750 in taxes to the governments of India, Panama and the Philipines. In fact, Trump’s tax bill for both India and the Philippines totaled more than $300,000 combined.
The New York Times article, written by Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig and Mike McIntire, indicated that this is the first in a series of articles to come about Trump’s tax information.
During his first campaign for president, Trump became the first candidate in 40 years not to disclose his tax returns to the public. He has repeatedly claimed an IRS audit has precluded him from releasing the records, which have been long sought by not just the media but also prosecutors and Congressional investigators looking into Trump and his finances.
To little surprise, at a Sunday afternoon press conference, Trump slandered the Times report as “fake news” and repeated the same IRS tax audit claim.
“It’s fake news. Totally fake news,” Trump said in responding to a reporter’s question. “Actually, I paid taxes, and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns — it’s under audit, they’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well.”
Trump sued Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. in an effort to prevent the prosecutor from obtaining his tax records for an examination. In June, the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, ruled that Vance could have access to the records — but Trump has filed yet another legal challenge since then hoping to stymie that effort.
President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, square off in the first of three presidential debates this Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 9 p.m. Eastern.
Read the full New York Times story here.
With Reuters reports.