Donald J. Trump has yet to release his tax returns, making him the first presidential candidate to not do so since the 1970s. The New York Times published three pages of Trump’s 1995 tax returns. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a financial loss of that magnitude would legally allow him to avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.
From the New York Times:
The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.
Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules 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.
Trump responded to the NYT article on Twitter.
The Trump campaign reacted to the article by calling the documents “illegally obtained” in a 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,” the campaign said in a statement.
Trump’s lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, emailed the New York Times and declared that the publication of his client’s tax records are illegal because the Donald has not authorized the disclosure of such documents. Kasowitz threatened “prompt initiation of appropriate legal action.”
However, if legal action is taken then Trump would presumably have to admit the returns are authentic. Even if Trump avoided paying taxes legally it would not look good in the public eye especially after Trump has criticized others for not paying taxes in the past.
Former New York mayor and Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani called the Republican presidential candidate a “genius” for not paying taxes.
Bernie Sanders chimed and called corporate tax breaks part of a “corrupt political system.”
“This is an example of why so many millions of Americans are frustrated, they’re angry, they’re disgusted at what they see as a corrupt political system in this country,” Sanders said on CNN’s State of the Union.
“You got the middle-class people working longer hours for lower wages… the billionaires, no, they don’t have to do that because they have their friends on Capitol Hill.”
The New York Times broke the story by receiving Trump’s 1995 tax documents from an anonymous source. Last month, NYT reporter Susanne Craig, who has written about Mr. Trump’s finances, received the pages in her mailbox.
The New York Times could be very familiar with using a great financial loss to get a tax credit. According to Forbes, the New York Times suffered losses of over half a billion dollars in 2006 and that means that they would be eligible for tax credits.
During the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton questioned why Trump didn’t release his tax returns.
“So you’ve got to ask yourself, why won’t he release his tax returns?” Clinton asked. “And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be.”
Only 36 days until the 2016 presidential election.
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