New York Times Reports Show President Trump Paid Only $750 in Federal Income Taxes in 2016

In this July 17, 2019, photo, President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Williams Arena in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In a controversial new report released on Sunday by the New York Times, President Donald Trump paid no federal income taxes for 10 of 15 years and reported that he lost significantly more than he made since the year 2000.

In addition, the Times went on to report that the president paid under $750 a year in federal income taxes when he won the 2016 election and paid the same amount during his first year in office.

What Is It 

The Times report outlines years of avoiding taxes and excessive financial losses. The report was crafted from more than two decades of tax information and was a devastating blow to the president’s reputation of being a successful businessman. 

On Sunday, the White House held a briefing where Trump denied the claims, stated that he pays “a lot” in federal income taxes and gets treated by the IRS “badly.”  “I pay a lot and I pay a lot in state income taxes,” he added. 

The president announced that he would release his tax documents once no longer under investigation.  Despite his repeated claims, there is no obligation to withhold tax returns while being audited. 

During the briefing, CNN’s Jeremy Diamond shouted questions asking how much he paid in federal taxes, but Trump refused to answer and walked out.

What It Means

The Times report is expansive and tells the story of a businessman who boasted about his financial success while running for president, but in reality, he was struggling to keep his businesses afloat and reported millions in losses. 

Trump had been paid $427.4 million for “The Apprentice” and used the funds for his golf courses, according to the article. Overall, Trump has invested more money into his businesses than he has taken out.

Additionally, information shows that Trump has been fighting the IRS for many years over a tax refund that was more than $72 million in claimed losses.

Alan Garten, lawyer for the Trump Organization, responded to a letter summarizing the Time’s findings, stating that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate” and requested copies of the documents. 

In an effort to protect the newspaper’s sources, they revealed that they would not release Trump’s tax return data. The publication also stated that its sources “have taken enormous personal risk to help inform the public.” 

The personal tax returns for the president from 2018 and 2019 were not part of the tax return data that the newspaper obtained. 

Amidst the revelations, Democrats are pushing to make the president’s tax returns public. The House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal expressed, “Today’s report underscores the importance of the Ways and Means Committee’s ongoing lawsuit to access Mr. Trump’s tax returns and ensure the presidential audit program is functioning effectively, without improper influence.”

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