US President Donald Trump

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The New York Times alleges that Donald Trump paid just $750 (£587) in federal income tax in 2016, the year he won the US presidency.

The newspaper – which says it has obtained tax records for Mr Trump and his companies over two decades – also says he paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the last 15 years.

It says this is “largely” due to the companies reporting losses.

Mr Trump dismissed the report as “totally fake news”.

“Actually I paid, but you’ll see then as soon as my tax returns are done,” he told reporters after the story was published on Sunday.

The New York Times said it had reviewed tax returns relating to President Trump and the companies owned by the Trump Organization going back to the 1990s, as well as his personal returns for 2016 and 2017.

The publication claims that President Trump paid just $750 in income taxes in 2016, and $750 in 2017.

The Trump Organization also rejected the allegations.

Alan Garten, chief legal officer of the Trump Organization, said that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate”, in response to a letter compiling the Times’ findings.

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image captionThe Trump Organization has rejected the New York Times’ allegations, saying “most” of the facts are inaccurate

“Over the past decade, President Trump 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,” said Mr Garten.

In a public filing in 2018, President Trump said that he had made at least $434.9m in revenues. The newspaper disputes this, alleging that his tax returns show the president had instead gone into the red, with $47.4m in losses.

‘Wielding losses to avoid taxes’

The newspaper also claims that “most” of Mr Trump’s biggest businesses – such as his golf courses and hotels – “report losing millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars year after year”.

“That equation is a key element of the alchemy of Mr Trump’s finances: using the proceeds of his celebrity to purchase and prop up risky businesses, then wielding their losses to avoid taxes,” reporters Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig and Mike McIntire write.

They say the president is personally responsible for more than $300m in loans, which will come due in the next four years.

It also alleges that some of President Trump’s businesses have received money from “lobbyists, foreign officials and others seeking face time, access or favour” from the president.

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image captionPresident Trump, pictured in 2015 at the launch of The Celebrity Apprentice TV series, made $427.4m in 2018 from the show

The Times says it used tax records to find out how much income the president makes from his companies overseas.

The newspaper alleges that he made $73m in revenue from abroad in his first two years at the White House.

Some of the revenue came from his golf courses in Ireland and Scotland, but the Times says the Trump Organization received money “from licensing deals in countries with authoritarian-leaning leaders or thorny geopolitics”.

The Times alleges that the licensing deals netted $3m from the Philippines, $2.3m from India and $1m from Turkey.

The newspaper claims that President Trump made $427.4m in 2018 in revenues from The Apprentice US series, as well as from branding deals where organisations paid to use his name. He also made $176.5m by investing in two office buildings that year, it is alleged.

However, the Times alleges that the president paid almost no taxes on these revenues, because he reported that his businesses made significant losses.

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image captionPresident Trump’s golf courses in Scotland, together with one in Ireland, made $63.3m in losses in 2018, the New York Times alleges

It also claims that President Trump has been making use of a tax code that enables business owners to “carry forward leftover losses to reduce taxes in future years”.

For example, the newspaper claims that in 2018, President Trump’s largest golf resort, Trump National Doral, near Miami, made $162.3m in losses. Similarly, his two golf courses in Scotland and one in Ireland, reported a combined $63.3m in losses, it is alleged.

The newspaper says that all the information it obtained was provided by sources with legal access to it.

Related Topics

  • Donald Trump

  • United States
  • Tax

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