The New York Times on Sunday released an investigative analysis of more than two decades of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax returns, revealing evidence of chronic financial losses and years of tax avoidance.
According to the The Times' report, Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes both the year he won the presidency and his first year in office, but he paid nothing in income taxes in 10 of the previous 15 years.
The president routinely reported losing substantially more money than he made during those years and “aggressively employs” those losses to avoid paying taxes, The Times reported.
In addition, Trump still has not resolved a 10-year battle with the Internal Revenue Service regarding the “legitimacy” of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed and received even after declaring substantial losses, The Times reported, noting an adverse ruling could mean he owes an additional $100 million.
The analysis did not examine Trump’s personal tax returns for 2018 or 2019.
Alan Garten, an attorney for the Trump Organization, said “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate” when The Times provided a letter summarizing the analysis' findings.
“Over the past decade, President Trump 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,” Garten said in a statement provided to the newspaper.
Speaking at a Sunday news conference at the White House, Trump dismissed the report as “fake news” and said he has paid taxes, though he gave no specifics, The Washington Post reported.
“It’s fake news. It’s totally fake news. Made up, fake,” Trump said. “We went through the same stories -- you could have asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news.”
According to The Post, when a reporter asked Trump to provide an estimate of his annual tax payments, the president said “a lot” but the exact figure will not be revealed until his audit is complete.
“Yeah, basically -- well, first of all, I’ve paid a lot, and I paid a lot in state income taxes, too,” Trump replied. “New York state charges a lot. And I’ve paid a lot of money in state. It’ll all be revealed. It’s going to come out, but after the audit.”