*It took forever, but it looks as if the media heavyweights have finally turned their attention to Donald Trump now that it appears he has a real chance of winning the election over Hillary Clinton.
In what could only be called a bombshell article, the New York times is reporting that the Republican presidential candidate looks to have avoided paying any taxes for two decades!
In records obtained by the Times, Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns. In plain English that means his tax deduction was so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.
Is this one of the reasons why he won’t release his current taxes?
Here’s more from the Times’ article:
The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.
Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.
Although Mr. Trump’s taxable income in subsequent years is as yet unknown, a $916 million loss in 1995 would have been large enough to wipe out more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years.
The $916 million loss certainly could have eliminated any federal income taxes Mr. Trump otherwise would have owed on the $50,000 to $100,000 he was paid for each episode of “The Apprentice,” or the roughly $45 million he was paid between 1995 and 2009 when he was chairman or chief executive of the publicly traded company he created to assume ownership of his troubled Atlantic City casinos. Ordinary investors in the new company, meanwhile, saw the value of their shares plunge to 17 cents from $35.50, while scores of contractors went unpaid for work on Mr. Trump’s casinos and casino bondholders received pennies on the dollar.
“He has a vast benefit from his destruction” in the early 1990s, said one of the experts, Joel Rosenfeld, an assistant professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. Mr. Rosenfeld offered this description of what he would advise a client who came to him with a tax return like Mr. Trump’s: “Do you realize you can create $916 million in income without paying a nickel in taxes?”
And what is Donald J. Trump’s response to the report? Nothing. He’s declining to comment. Interestingly, his presidential campaign released a statement that neither challenged nor confirmed the $916 million loss.
“Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required,” the statement said. “That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes.”
And of course now that he’s exposed, his campaign spin on the situation is this:
“Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President and he is the only one that knows how to fix it.”
Of course since (legally) ripped off the system he now wants to be the one to change it … instead of sharing the scam with others. 🙂 OK, that’s our sorry attempt at humor.
You can read the rest of the New York Times article on Trump’s tax avoidance HERE.