A New York Times investigation found President Donald Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in the year he won the presidency, another $750 in his first year in the White House and no income taxes at all in 10 of the last 15 years. Trump has pushing back, claiming the reporting is “fake news.”
Trump said in a scheduled White House press briefing Sunday the report is “made up” and he actually “paid a lot” in taxes. He did not provide a specific amount, said he still cannot release his tax returns and admitted he didn’t have advanced notice that the report was coming out.
"Actually I paid the tax, and you'll see them as soon as my tax returns are done," Trump told reporters. "It's under audit. They've been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well."
The investigation, which cited two decades worth of Trump’s tax return data, was published just moments before the press briefing was scheduled to take place, and reported that Trump paid no income taxes for 10 out of the last 15 years by claiming he lost much more money than he earned.
The report also stated that in 2018, Trump announced having made at least $434.9 million, while tax records instead indicate he had been in a $47.4 million loss.
It also confirmed a decade-long IRS audit, which Trump had previously claimed was the reason he couldn’t release his financial records. Trump had claimed and received a $72.9 million tax refund after declaring huge losses, which is currently under review by the IRS. If he loses the audit battle, Trump could owe more than $100 million, the Times reported.
Additionally, an IRS audit does not prevent Trump from releasing financial records publicly.
The Times also reported Trump earned millions abroad after he took office, which raises questions about whether such earnings conflict with his role as commander-in-chief.
The report came out just 36 days before the 2020 Presidential Election.
Many politicians spoke out following the report, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who tweeted asking everyone who “paid more in federal income tax than President Trump” to raise their hands. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it “a sign of President Trump's disdain for America's working families that he has spent years abusing the tax code while passing a GOP Tax Scam for the rich that gives 83 percent of the benefits to the wealthiest 1 percent."
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign Tweeted a video in response that said by contrast, an elementary school teacher paid $7,239, a firefighter paid $5,283 and a registered nurse paid $10,216 in federal income taxes in 2019.
A lawyer for the Trump organization claimed the story is “riddled with gross inaccuracies” and said Trump has actually "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.”