Minggu, 27 September 2020

Donald Trump paid just $750 in US income taxes in 2016, 2017: report - Sydney Morning Herald

New York: US President Donald Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years, according to a blockbuster report in The New York Times that provides the most detailed window yet into his tax history.

Trump, who is the only president in modern times not to make his tax returns public, paid $US750 in taxes to the federal government the year he was elected, 2016. He paid the same amount again in his first year in office, the Times reported.

President Donald Trump gestures while speakings during a news conference at the White House, on Sunday, September 27.

President Donald Trump gestures while speakings during a news conference at the White House, on Sunday, September 27.Credit:AP

American workers with incomes of between $US20,000 and $US50,000 ($28,000 and $70,000) pay an average of $US1871 in federal income taxes annually – twice that paid by Trump in 2016 and 2017, the Times said.

Trump was able to minimise his tax bill by reporting heavy losses across his business empire. The Times reported Trump claimed $US47.4 million in losses in 2018, despite claiming income of at least $US434.9 million in a financial disclosure that year.


He also minimised his tax payments by classifying residences, the cost of his aircraft and even haircuts as business expenses. Trump reportedly claimed deductions worth more than US$70,000 to style his hair during his time hosting The Apprentice.

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He also reduced his taxable income by treating daughter Ivanka as a consultant, and then deducting payments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to her as a cost of doing business.

Speaking at a news conference at the White House shortly after the investigation was published, Trump dismissed the report as "fake news".

"The story is a total fake," Trump said, while refusing to give specifics on how much tax he has paid.

Since the 2016 campaign Trump has repeatedly justified not releasing his tax returns by claiming he was under audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), even though this does not preclude him from making his tax information public.

The Times said it had obtained tax-return data covering over two decades for Trump and companies within his business organisation. It did not have information about his personal returns from 2018 or 2019.

The newspaper said it had decided not to publish the tax returns in full in order to protect the confidentiality of its reporters' sources.

"We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances," Dean Baquet, the Times' executive editor, wrote in a note to readers.

A lawyer for the Trump Organisation, Alan Garten, told the Times that "most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate".

He said in a statement to the news organisation that the President "has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015".

The Times also reported Trump is currently embroiled in a decade-long Internal Revenue Service audit over a $US73 million tax refund he claimed after declaring large losses. If the IRS rules against him in that audit, he could have to pay over $US100 million ($142 million), according to the newspaper.

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2020-09-27 23:14:00Z

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