Democrats in Congress have released thousands of pages from former President Donald Trump’s tax returns covering 2015-2020. The returns include his time in the White House as the US president.
The documents include Trump’s individual returns, those of Melania, his wife, and Trump’s business entities. This marks the conclusion of a legal dispute which ultimately went to the Supreme Court.
Trump had repeatedly refused to share financial information, contrary to the practice of prior US presidents.
What the Records Show
The records reveal how Trump offset his income with losses and deductions to reduce his tax liability. In 2015, Trump paid $641 931 in federal income taxes. In 2016 and 2017, he paid only $750 in taxes, and nothing in 2020.
The records also include information about Trump’s charitable contributions and foreign holdings.
According to the findings, Trump had bank accounts in China, Ireland, and the UK between 2015 and 2017, and a UK bank account in 2018.
For taxes paid on international business ventures, Trump claimed a foreign tax credit for the amount he paid – this included using his name in development projects and golf courses in Scotland or Ireland.
Over several years, Trump has spent more on foreign taxes than US income taxes. His income was reported in countries such as Azerbaijan, China, India, Panama, Indonesia, Panama, and the Philippines.
Charitable Donations and Other Tax Issues
Trump’s charitable donations often accounted for a small part of his income. Trump reported no charitable donations for 2020, the year of the coronavirus epidemic. In 2019, and 2018, he reported writing checks for approximately $500,000 for donations.
In previous years, the figures were much higher – $ 1.8 million in 2017 and $ 1.1 million in 2016, respectively. It is unknown if Trump’s annual $400,000 presidential salary was included in the sums. When Trump became president, he claimed he would forfeit his presidential salary.
Jeff Hoopes, from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, described Trump’s returns in the following words: “large, complicated,” with “hundreds of entities scattered across the globe.”
He also noted that many of these entities were unprofitable. He described this as “pretty magical” in terms of the tax code.
New York University taxation professor Daniel Shaviro pointed out that many Trump businesses suffered significant financial losses, despite having high sales.
He said this should cause concern for auditors. He also cited suspicious or sloppy mathematics cases in smaller businesses such as “DT Endeavor I LLC,” an aviation firm that reported selling and purchasing the same aircraft in 2020.
Meanwhile, the former president has lashed out at The Democrats over releasing the information, “It’s going to lead to horrible things for so many people. The radical, left Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street!”
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