Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is always causing some kind of controversy. One of the longest running controversies of his campaign is his refusal to release his income tax returns. According to Trump, his tax returns are under audit by the Internal Revenue Service and he can’t release them until the audit is over. But as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said at their presidential debate on September 26th, Trump does not pay any federal income tax. The big question people have is, why not?
The New York Times may have the answer to that. They just released Trump’s federal income tax return from 1995. It shows Trump declared a huge loss in the amount of $916 million. Legally, this would mean that Trump could have used this tax deduction to avoid paying taxes for the next 18 years. The majority of the tax benefits he received from this nearly $1 billion deduction came from a series of failed business ventures he had in the 1990s. Some of these failed ventures include his three failed casinos in Atlantic City, Trump Airline, and the Plaza Hotel.
Nobody knows what Trump’s income was in the years after 1995. However, tax experts who’ve reviewed Trump’s 1995 tax return claim that he could have deducted $50 million per year on all his subsequent returns for the next 18 years. This kind of deduction could have easily wiped out the taxable income he had from the reality TV show “The Apprentice.”
When Trump’s presidential campaign was asked to comment on the tax return, they had no comment about the $916 million tax deduction. They simply stated that Trump is a highly skilled businessman who only pays the amount of taxes he’s legally required to. Even though he doesn’t pay federal income tax, he still pays real estate taxes, state taxes, sales taxes, city taxes, and employee taxes.