Trump’s taxes tell tricky tale

written by: Mo Juenger, World News Editor

A New York Times (NYT) investigative report found that President Donald J. Trump paid $750 annually in federal taxes in both 2016 and 2017. The report also found that Trump paid zero dollars in taxes for 10 of the 15 previous years due to major business losses. 

Trump paid $7,435,107 of his federal tax in General Business Credit (GBC), out of the $22.7 million the NYT found he held. Corporations receive GBC from the government for a variety of reasons, including promoting research, oil recovery, reforestation and creating a pension plan. 

It is unclear why Trump paid $750 in taxes, as his GBC could have paid the entirety owed. 

The report states that Trump claimed many costs typically considered personal expenses as business expenses. This includes approximately $70,000 spent on hair styling, which the U.S. Tax Court has previously ruled to be a personal expense. 

Several of Trump’s family members are named as employees, including his daughter Ivanka Trump, who is paid a $750,000 salary for consulting services. This is legal and not fraudulent, as long as the consulting services that Ivanka provided are determined to be worth that amount.

Trump’s property developments have lost significant money since 2000. The NYT report claims that golf courses alone have lost him more than $350 million since the millennium. 

The NYT report claims Trump is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt but was unable to discover who Trump owes. 

The report also states that Trump has been in a legal battle with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for over a decade over a $72.9 million tax refund that he received. The audit into this matter is ongoing. If the IRS was to overturn the refund, Trump could pay upwards of $100 million. 

During Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump said that the report was untrue and that he paid millions of dollars in taxes.