An explosive report in The New York Times today says that President Donald Trump paid just $750 as taxes in the year he won the Presidency. In his first year in office he paid another $750. NYT obtained Trump’s tax information for over 20 years and also discovered that he had not paid any taxes in 10 of the previous 15 years with his businesses reporting heavy losses.
But according to NYT, Trump’s tax troubles are likely to get worse. The publication says, “Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.” It also adds ominously, “And within the next four years, more than $300 million in loans — obligations for which he is personally responsible — will come due.”
NYT’s analysis of the records found that The Apprentice, Trump’s hit TV show, “along with the licensing and endorsement deals that flowed from his expanding celebrity, brought Mr. Trump a total of $427.4 million.” But NYT said, “He invested much of that in a collection of businesses, mostly golf courses, that in the years since have steadily devoured cash.”
Trump has consistently avoided disclosing his tax information and has cultivated an image as a shrewd businessman who uses his business acumen now as a political leader to famously “Make America Great Again”. However, NYT says, “His reports to the I.R.S. portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes. Now, with his financial challenges mounting, the records show that he depends more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest with his job as president.”
This revelation could seriously damage Trump’s chances at re-election as part of his sway over his traditional vote bank, of mostly white Americans struggling amidst an economic slowdown, has been his image of being a man who knows how to make money. If it turns out that he has been losing money all along and then using these losses to allegedly dodge taxes, it might erode some of that Midas like image Trump has carefully cultivated over the decades.
Here’s how Twitterverse reacted to the shocking expose’:
UPDATED ON SEPTEMBER 28:
President Donald Trump finally responded to NYT’s report on his taxes. Taking to Twitter, the President posted a series of tweets denouncing the publications claims as “Fake News”.
*Feature Image by Gage Skidmore (Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011.)