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Trump Pays No Taxes Unlike His Financially-Illiterate Followers

Comments come after report found Trump paid no income tax in eight of 10 years in the ’80s and ’90s. Trump Pays No Taxes Unlike His Financially-Illiterate Followers

President Trump said Wednesday that the deep losses he reported for tax purposes in the 1980s and 1990s amounted to “sport,” citing write-offs and tax shelters allowed at the time to avoid taxes by the federal government.

Mr. Trump’s remarks on Twitter early Wednesday morning were made in response to a New York Times report from Tuesday that showed he had claimed loses of $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994, and paid no income taxes in eight of those 10 years.

“You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes,” Mr. Trump said in a pair of early morning tweets. “Almost all real estate developers did—and often renegotiate with banks, it was sport.”

Mr. Trump claimed more losses than any other individual taxpayer in the U.S. during that time, according to the newspaper.

“Real estate developers in the 1980’s & 1990’s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation,” Mr. Trump posted on Twitter. “Sometimes considered ’tax shelter,’ you would get it by building, or even buying.”

Under current law, real-estate developers can generate losses more easily than other taxpayers. They can take deductions for depreciation of their property and can also deduct interest when they borrow, among other steps.

Mr. Trump has bucked decades of tradition set by every sitting president since Richard Nixon by refusing to make public his tax returns. Mr. Trump’s predecessors and many of his potential rivals in the 2020 campaign have released tax returns as a show of transparency, allowing voters to see how they made money and where potential conflicts of interest may exist.

Mr. Trump has refused to release his returns, citing a continuing IRS audit.

No law prevents him from releasing returns while under audit, as previous presidents have.

Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected House Democrats’ request for Mr. Trump’s tax returns. The move will likely send the dispute into federal court.

The Times report was based on what the newspaper said were printouts from Mr. Trump’s IRS transcripts.

 

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