US president Donald Trump on Monday(28) said that he paid “many millions of dollars in taxes” but was entitled to depreciation and tax credits, and was under-leveraged, having more assets than debt.
He took to Twitter to respond to the news report which said he paid ‘very low’ tax in many years.
The New York Times on Sunday(27) reported that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, after years of reporting heavy losses from his business enterprises to offset hundreds of millions of dollars in income.
“I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits,” he wrote on Twitter. “I am extremely under leveraged – I have very little debt compared to the value of assets.”
The Fake News Media, just like Election time 2016, is bringing up my Taxes & all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information & only bad intent. I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 28, 2020
He also pointed out that he is the only president on record to give up the yearly $400,000 plus presidential salary.
Earlier, the president had dismissed the report as “fake news’.
According to the report, Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the previous 15 years through 2017, despite receiving $427.4 million through 2018 from his reality television programme and other endorsement and licensing deals.
The disclosure of previously private tax information came little more than a month before the Nov. 3 election between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. Democrats were quick to seize on the report to paint Trump as a tax dodger and raise questions about his carefully groomed image as a savvy businessman.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer took to Twitter to ask Americans to raise their hands if they paid more in federal income tax than Trump.
In a statement to the Times, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, said Trump had paid millions of dollars in personal taxes over the last decade, without weighing in on the specific finding of minimal income taxes.
Trump’s consistent refusal to release his taxes has been a departure from standard practice for presidential candidates. He is currently in a legal battle with New York City prosecutors and congressional Democrats who are seeking to obtain his returns.
The report further said that Trump was able to minimise his tax bill by reporting heavy losses across his business empire. It said he claimed $47.4 million in losses in 2018, despite saying he had income of at least $434.9 million in a financial disclosure that year.
Interestingly, Trump was currently embroiled in a decade-long Internal Revenue Service audit over a $72.9 million tax refund he claimed after declaring large losses. If the ruling is against the president, he could have to pay over $100 million, according to the newspaper.