Trump's tax revelation could tarnish image that fuelled his rise

Marco Green
September 28, 2020

Democrats wasted no time in seizing on the news, with the Biden campaign's online store already selling stickers saying "I paid more income taxes than Donald Trump" on Sunday night.

He also vowed that information about his taxes "will all be revealed", but he offered no timeline for the disclosure and made similar promises during the 2016 campaign on which he never followed through. "The tax records show that the three siblings had each drawn a salary from their father's company - roughly $480,000 a year, jumping to about $2 million after Mr. Trump became president - though Ms. Trump no longer receives a salary".

Mr Trump has broken with presidential tradition by refusing to release his returns, fighting a long battle in the courts and fueling speculation about what they might contain.

His Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, released tax returns in July covering the two years following his departure from the White House.

Journalist Aaron Mate noted that between Bill Clinton's $500,000 speaking fee in Russian Federation and the $3.5 million that the wife of Moscow's mayor allegedly wired to Hunter Biden, both of the last two Democrat presidential candidates have had "deeper financial ties to Russian Federation than Trump". In 10 of the previous 15 years he paid $0 income taxes.

The disclosure, which the Times said comes from tax return data extending over two decades, comes at a pivotal moment ahead of the first presidential debate Tuesday and a divisive election.

Mr Trump has worked for decades to build an image of himself as a hugely successful businessman, even choosing "mogul" as his Secret Service code name.

It says that Mr Trump's finances are in trouble, with his businesses losing millions of dollars.

A protester outside the Supreme Court in July as it ruled on two cases seeking to acquire President Donald Trump's financial records including his tax returns. President Donald Trump speaking during a news conference at the White House on Sunday. He
Trump’s Tax Returns Reveal Struggling Businesses But Big Windfall From ‘The Apprentice’

The tax filings also illustrate how a reputed billionaire could pay little to nothing in taxes, while someone in the middle class could pay substantially more than him. Trump disclosed that he earned almost $435 million in 2018, but that year his tax filings show $47.4 million in total losses. Even the effective tax rate paid by the wealthiest one percent of Americans could have caused him to pay more than $100 million.

While Trump said he would not pursue foreign business while in the White House, he earned $73 million overseas in his first two years in office.

According to the newspaper, which described the data as a "road map of revelations", Mr Trump has sought a number of tax write-offs including the cost of a criminal defence lawyer and the use of a mansion as a family retreat. But the newspaper pointed out that Garten may be combining income tax with other taxes that Trump has paid such as those for medical aid and social security.

At a press conference on Sunday, Trump denied the report.

The documents contained information that Trump had disclosed to the U.S. government's Internal Revenue Service and were not findings of any independent inquiry, the newspaper added.

A lawyer for the Trump Organization, Alan Garten, said "most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate".

Harwood noted that the Times also revealed a staggering bill that is coming due for the president: in the next four years, Trump will be personally responsible for $300 million in loans - "indicating the financial stress that he is suffering", Harwood said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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