Report: Trump avoided paying taxes for 8 years after more than $1 billion loss over a decade

President Donald Trump reportedly lost more than $1 billion over a ten-year period — and he avoided paying taxes for eight years during that time due to the losses.

The revelation comes amid a brewing battle between Democrats in Congress and the Trump administration about lawmakers’ access to the president’s tax returns for 2013-2018.

In 1985, Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his businesses, which included his casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings, according to a report from the New York Times. The majority of his losses came between 1990 and 1991, when he lost more than $250 million each year, the Times reported.

In all, between 1985 to 1994, Trump lost $1.17 billion, according to the Times.

As a result of his losses, the New York businessman did not have to pay taxes for eight of the 10 years, the Times also reported. The newspaper did not analyze Trump’s official tax returns, but transcripts of those documents.

The White House did not respond to request for comment.

Representatives for Trump repeatedly pushed back on the bombshell report.

A senior official in a statement initially told the Times that Trump “got massive depreciation and tax shelter because of large-scale construction and subsidized developments” and claimed that is why Trump has called for changes to the tax laws.

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However, Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, in a statement issued to the Times Saturday criticized the paper’s characterization of Trump’s tax information, saying it was “demonstrably false” and the paper’s reporting was “highly inaccurate.”

On Tuesday, Harder issued another statement claiming that IRS transcripts  “particularly before the days of electronic filing are notoriously inaccurate.” The president’s lawyer, however, did not provide any specific errors in the information reported by Times.

A former director of research, analysis and statistics at the IRS, Mark Mazur, told the Times that the transcripts are “handy” summaries of tax returns that have been used to analyze economic trends and set national policy and had gone through quality control for decades.

In addition, the Times reported that its source provided transcripts of the tax returns of Fred Trump, the president’s father, which the newspaper was able to verify against the father’s actual tax returns because of its previous investigation and reporting. 

The report comes amid a fight between the Trump administration and Democratic lawmakers in the House who are seeking to obtain the president’s 2013-2018 tax returns. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday rejected a request from House Democrats to obtain Trump’s tax returns from the IRS, which is part of the Treasury Department.

More: Treasury Department rejects handing over Trump’s tax returns to House Democrats

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, last month requested the president’s tax returns since 2013.

Mnuchin called the request “unprecedented” and claimed it “presents serious constitutional questions.” He denied the request per guidance from the Department of Justice, and contended that “the Committee’s request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.”


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