Trump's $750-tax bill: "They're Trumps, and we're chumps'"

Lawrence Kim
September 29, 2020

Mr Trump's reported federal income tax payment of just $750 in his first year in office paled in comparison to his recent predecessors, Barack Obama and George W Bush, who each regularly paid $100,000 (€85,700) a year in similar taxes.

While it may be entertaining to compare one's tax payments to Trump's relitively scant remittance for 2016 and 2017, Meyers took time during his "A Closer Look Segment" to criticize the president and the American tax system.

Can Trump release his tax returns if under audit?

President Donald Trump is terrified he could receive a large bill from the Internal Revenue Service or be the first president to end up behind bars, Michael Cohen, his former personal attorney, said following the release of an extensive investigative report on the president's finances.

The president's preparation for the debate was upended on Sunday night when The New York Times published its lengthy investigation, saying it had obtained "tax-return data" about Mr Trump stretching over a period of more than two decades.

At a press conference earlier, Mr Trump rejected the Times report as inaccurate.

"I paid millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits", he continued. Under the US tax system, fairness for every USA taxpayer dictates that the USA not tax income that has been subject to an equivalent income tax in the country where it originated.

In fact, Mr Trump has fielded court challenges against those seeking access to his returns, including the US House of Representatives, which is suing for access to Mr Trump's tax returns as part of congressional oversight.

Beyond the commentary directly from the president and his son, the president's team has also moved to build the president's defense in an approach that has run the spectrum from outright denials to justifying the practice of tax avoidance to the suggestion of a "coordinated political smear".

Trump revelations are also expected to feature prominently in the first presidential debate with challenger Joe Biden on Tuesday, turning attention to tax documents that, despite tradition, Trump has kept from the public eye. If it involved different countries, she said, they could hold leverage over the president.

He has been engaged in lengthy legal battles with NY prosecutors and the House of Representatives to prevent his tax returns from being made public. Trump has claimed a whopping $315.6 million in losses since 2000 on his golf courses.

Mr Trump, starting in 2010, claimed and received an income tax refund that totalled $US72.9 million ($103.7 million), which the Times said was at the core of an ongoing audit by the IRS.

The failure of his Atlantic City casinos cost him A$500 million in 2002 alone.

Trump is set to face what will likely be heavy financial pressures from the enormous pile of debt he has absorbed. But, the paper reported, the president has $300m of loans for which he is personally liable coming due in the next four years. The Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. has lost $55.5 million through 2018, per the Times.

But he isn't legally obliged to release his tax returns publicly.

"Now, Donald Trump is the boss of the agency he considers an adversary". DW Washington correspondent Carolina Chimoy said that while the report would damage any presidential candidate, the United States remains a deeply polarized country and neither supporters nor opponents of the president are likely to change sides.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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