The New York Times has obtained Donald Trump’s tax records which suggest his $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax return could have “allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.”
According to the Times, the mismanagement of three Trump Atlantic City casinos, his failed venture in the airline business and a badly timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan caused the massive financial loss — but equally massive tax break.
“Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said tax rules that are especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period,” according to the paper.
The paper obtained three key pages of Trump’s 1995 tax return, and corroborated its authenticity with the candidate’s former accountant Jack Mitnick.
Wrote the Times: “Although Mr. Trump’s taxable income in subsequent years is as yet unknown, a $916 million loss in 1995 would have been large enough to wipe out more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years.”
The Trump campaign quickly responded that the document was “illegally obtained,” and noted that Trump “has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes, along with very substantial charitable contributions. ”
The Times updated its story to say a lawyer for Trump, Marc E. Kasowitz, wrote the Times saying the publication of the tax documents was illegal “because Mr. Trump has not authorized the disclosure of any of his tax returns,” and threatened “prompt initiation of appropriate legal action” in response.
Trump’s unwillingness to release his tax returns during his presidential campaign, flying in the face of precedent for all candidates of either party in decades, has been a subject of ongoing criticism.
Here’s the full campaign statement:
“The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that the New York Times, like establishment media in general, is an extension of the Clinton Campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interests. What is happening now with the FBI and DOJ on Hillary Clinton’s emails and illegal server, including her many lies and her lies to Congress are worse than what took place in the administration of Richard Nixon – and far more illegal.”
“Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required. That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes, along with very substantial charitable contributions. Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President and he is the only one that knows how to fix it.”
“The incredible skills Mr. Trump has shown in building his business are the skills we need to rebuild this country. Hillary Clinton is a corrupt public official who violated federal law, Donald Trump is an extraordinarily successful private businessman who followed the law and created tens of thousands of jobs for Americans.”