New York: President Donald Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years, according to a bombshell report in The New York Times.
Trump, who has fiercely guarded his tax filings and is the only president in modern times not to make them public, paid $US750 in taxes to the federal government the year he was elected, 2016, and $US750 again in his first year in office.
President Donald Trump gestures while speakings during a news conference at the White House, on Sunday, September 27.Credit:AP
Trump was able to minimise his tax bill by reporting heavy losses across his business empire. The Times reported Trump claimed $US47.4 million in losses in 2018, despite claiming income of at least $US434.9 million in a financial disclosure that year.
Speaking at a 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 disclosure, which the Times said comes from tax return data it obtained extending over two decades, comes at a pivotal moment ahead of the first presidential debate Tuesday, and weeks before a divisive election.
A lawyer for the Trump Organisation, Alan Garten, and a spokesman for the Trump Organisation did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
Garten told the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate”.
He said in a statement to the news organisation that the President "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”.
Trump has consistently refused to release his taxes, departing from standard practice for presidential candidates, saying they are under audit.
The Times said it had obtained tax-return data covering over two decades for Trump and companies within his business organisation. It did not have information about his personal returns from 2018 or 2019.
The Times also reported Trump is currently embroiled in a decade-long Internal Revenue Service audit over a $US72.9 million tax refund he claimed after declaring large losses. If the IRS rules against him in that audit, he could have to pay over $US100 million ($142 million), according to the newspaper.
More to come