President Donald J Trump paid precisely zero dollars in federal income taxes in 10 of the last 15 years, according to a bombshell report published in The New York Times on Sunday. And in 2016 and 2017, the president paid a mere $750 in income taxes. The returns also lost hundreds of millions of dollars in business losses over the last 20 years, painting a very different picture of his personal finances than that claimed by the President during his election bid.
Responding to a question during an evening news conference, Trump described the report as "fake news" and then claimed to have paid "a lot" of taxes. “I paid a lot, and I paid a lot of state income taxes to New York State," the president said when pressed on the subject by reporters.
How much do you pay in income taxes?— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) September 27, 2020
President Trump: I paid a lot and I paid a lot of money in state. I'm under audit but it will all come out.
He adds of The NY Times story: "The story is a total fake."
According to the New York Times, Trump was able to avoid paying income taxes for 10 years because the losses his property businesses generated offset any income he earned from his stake in the television show "The Apprentice" and other ventures. Equally important in his efforts to zero out his tax bill were numerous write-offs. Among the items Trump labeled as business expenses and deducted from his taxable income were $109,433 worth of linens and silver, $197,829 for landscaping at Mar-a-Lago, and $70,000 worth of haircuts during "The Apprentice" years.
Trump has fiercely guarded his tax returns since he first rode down a golden escalator to announce his candidacy for president back in 2015. Since then he's kept up the fight by filing court challenges against those who have sued for access – like the US House of Representatives. Now he says that information about his taxes "will all be revealed," but unfortunately for Trump, it looks like the New York Times beat him to the punch.
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