Trump’s taxes: Key takeaways from the New York Times report.

Click to play video 'Trump claims New York Times report on his tax returns is ‘fake news’'

WATCH: Trump claims New York Times report on his tax returns is 'fake news'

A New York Times report that President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income tax the year he entered the White House — and, thanks to colossal losses, no income tax at all in 11 of the 18 years that the Times reviewed — served to raise doubts about Trump’s self-image as a shrewd and successful businessman.

That Sunday’s report came just weeks before Trump’s re-election bid served to intensify the spotlight on Trump the businessman — an identity that he has spent decades cultivating and that helped him capture the presidency four years ago in his first run for political office. The Times’ report deepens the uncertainty surrounding a tumultuous presidential campaign set against the backdrop of a viral pandemic, racial unrest in American cities and a ferocious battle over the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Since entering the White House, Trump has broken with tradition set by his predecessors by not only refusing to release his tax returns but by waging a legal battle to keep them hidden. The Times report suggests why that might have been so. It reported that many of Trump’s top businesses are losing money, even as those losses have helped him shrink his federal tax bill to essentially nothing.

Eugene Steuerle, a tax expert at the Urban Institute, said he wasn’t surprised that it turns out that Trump had paid almost no federal income tax. Most commercial real estate developers deduct large interest payments on their debts from taxable income, thereby lowering their tax bills. Typically, they also often avoid capital gains taxes by plowing profits from the sale of one building into the purchase of another.

“Most tax experts expected you would find little in the way of tax payments by President Trump,” said Steuerle, who served as a Treasury Department official under President Ronald Reagan.

The Times noted that Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, said of the Times report that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate” and asked for the documents on which the reporting was based, which the Times declined to provide in order to protect its sources. The Times said Garten then directly disputed only the amount of taxes Trump had paid.

Here are some key takeaways from the Times’ reporting:

TRUMP PAID JUST $750 IN TAXES IN BOTH 2016 and 2017.

Trending Stories

The newspaper said Trump initially paid $95 million in taxes over the 18 years it studied. But he managed to recover most of that money by claiming — and receiving — a stunning $72.9 million federal tax refund. According to the Times, Trump also pocketed $21.2 million in state and local refunds, which are typically based on federal filings.

Trump’s outsize refund became the subject of a now-long-standing Internal Revenue Service audit of his finances. The audit was widely known. Trump has claimed it was the very reason why he cannot release his returns. But the Times report is the first to identify the issue that was mainly in dispute.

As a result of the refund, Trump paid an average $1.4 million in federal taxes from 2000 to 2017, the Times reported. By contrast, the average U.S. taxpayer in the top .001% of earners paid about $25 million annually over the same timeframe.

TRUMP HAS FINANCED AN EXTRAVAGANT LIFESTYLE WITH THE USE OF BUSINESS EXPENSES.

From his homes, his aircraft — and $70,000 on hair styling during his television show “The Apprentice” — Trump has capitalized on cost incurred from his businesses to finance a luxurious lifestyle.

The Times noted that Trump’s homes, planes and golf courses are part of the Trump family business and, as such, Trump classified them as business expenses as well. Because companies can write off business expenses as deductions, all such expenses have helped reduce Trump’s tax liability.

MANY OF HIS BEST-KNOWN BUSINESSES ARE MONEY-LOSERS

The president has frequently pointed to his far-flung hotels, golf courses and resorts as evidence of his success as a developer and businessman. Yet these properties have been been draining money.

The Times reported that Trump has claimed $315 million in losses since 2000 on his golf courses, including the Trump National Doral near Miami, which Trump has portrayed as a crown jewel in his business empire. Likewise, his Trump International Hotel in Washington has lost $55 million, the Times reported.

FOREIGN VISITORS HAVE HELPED SUPPORT TRUMP’S PROPERTIES

Since Trump began his presidential run, lobbyists, foreign governments and politicians have lavished significant sums of money on his properties, a spending spree that raised questions about its propriety and legality.

The Times report illustrates just how much that spending has been: Since 2015, his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida has taken in $5 million more a year from a surge in membership. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association spent at least $397,602 in 2017 at Trump’s Washington hotel. Overseas projects have produced millions more for Trump — $3 million from the Philippines, $2.3 million from India and $1 million from Turkey.

TRUMP WILL FACE FINANCIAL PRESSURE AS DEBTS COME DUE

Trump seems sure to face heavy financial pressures from the enormous pile of debt he has absorbed. The Times said the president appears to be responsible for $421 million in loans, most of which will come due within four years. On top of that, a $100 million mortgage on Trump Tower in New York will come due in 2022.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

Related news

Ghislaine Maxwell transcripts revealed in Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse case.

The transcripts include seven hours of Maxwell discussing her relationship with the late Epstein, a convicted sex offender.

Republicans advance Amy Coney Barrett nomination despite Democratic boycott.

The 48-year-old federal judge’s ascent to the high court would lock a 6-3 conservative majority on the court for the foreseeable future.

Risk Of Catching COVID-19 On A Plane «Very Low» , Not Zero: WHO.

The risk of COVID-19 spreading on flights appears "very low" but cannot be ruled out, despite studies showing only a small number of cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

Kingston plumber offers free Halloween candy chutes for area residents.

Kingston plumber Dan Vokey says the response to his offer of free Halloween candy chutes has been overwhelming.

1 86

Russia Grants Edward Snowden Permanent Residency Rights: Reports.

Russia has granted US whistleblower Edward Snowden permanent residency rights, the TASS news agency cited Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena as saying on Thursday.

Sri Lanka Files Appeal Against UK's Move To Remove LTTE From Terror List.

Sri Lanka has appealed against a judgement from Britain's Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission, which has delisted the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a proscribed terrorist...

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry calls on Russia to stop illegal archaeological excavations in occupied Crimea.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine says a strong protest from the Russian Federation due to the archaeological excavations carried out within the so-called "Crimean War" project on the territory of the Alma Valley and in the city of Sevast...

Donald Trump, Joe Biden Face Off In Final Presidential Debate.

President Donald Trump squares off against Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Thursday in what promises to be a bruising final debate with less than two weeks left in their turbulent fight for the...

Muted mics and coronavirus: What to watch in the final 2020 U.

It marks the candidates’ second and final face-to-face meeting, with Election Day less than two weeks away.

Saad Hariri Back As Lebanon PM A Year After Stepping Down Amid Protests.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun designated Sunni Muslim politician Saad al-Hariri as prime minister on Thursday to form a new government to tackle the worst crisis since the country's 1975-1990 civil...

By continuing to browse World News (UAZMI), you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and agree to the use of cookies