Donald Trump paid no federal income taxes whatsoever in 10 out of 15 years beginning in 2000 because he reported losing significantly more than he made, according to an explosive report released Sunday by the New York Times.
In both the year he won the presidency and his first year in the White House, Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes, the Times reported.
Detailing payments gleaned from more than two decades of tax information, the Times report outlines extensive financial losses and years of tax avoidance that deal a blow to the business-tycoon brand Trump has built his political career on.
At a White House briefing Sunday, Trump denied the New York Times story and claimed that he pays “a lot” in federal income taxes.
“I pay a lot, and I pay a lot in state income taxes,” he said.
Trump added that he is willing to release his tax returns once he is no longer under audit by the Internal Revenue Service, which he said “treats me badly.” The President, however, is under no obligation to hold his tax returns while under audit, despite his repeated claims otherwise.
Trump also refused to answer how much he has paid in federal taxes in the briefing and walked out to shouted questions from CNN’s Jeremy Diamond on the topic.
The expansive Times report paints a picture of a businessman who was struggling to keep his businesses afloat and was reporting millions in losses even as he was campaigning for President and boasting about his financial success.
According to the newspaper, Trump used the $427.4 million he was paid for “The Apprentice” to fund his other businesses, mostly his golf courses, and was putting more cash into his businesses than he was taking out.
The tax information obtained by the Times also reveals Trump has been fighting the IRS for years over whether losses he claimed should have resulted in a nearly $73 million refund.
In response to a letter summarizing the newspaper’s findings, Trump Organization lawyer Alan Garten told the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate” and requested the documents.
The New York Times said it will not make Trump’s tax-return data public so as not to jeopardize its sources “who have taken enormous personal risks to help inform the public.”
The tax-return data obtained by the newspaper does not include his personal returns for 2018 or 2019.