Trump’s Tax Returns Reveal Struggling Businesses But Big Windfall From ‘The Apprentice’

Andrew Cummings
September 28, 2020

The former businessman failed to release his tax returns when he was running for president and has consistently refused to give in even when political pressure heaped on him, which constitutes a full departure from common practice by USA presidential nominees.

After The Times had turned down the request to provide the records, in order to protect its sources, Garten took direct issue only with the amount of taxes Trump had paid, the publication underscored.

Trump has claimed in the past that the American public had no interest in his taxes and also that he could not disclose his tax returns as he was under audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) accused Trump of leading a lavish lifestyle at the expense of blue collar workers, tweeting: "Plumbers and teachers and fast food workers and accountants were (and still are) paying for his lifestyle". Trump has often used the ongoing audit as a reason for not releasing his returns publicly.

Despite it being regular practice for sitting presidents to be under audit, every president since Gerald Ford has released complete tax returns while in office.

The details of the tax filings published Sunday complicate Trump's description of himself as a shrewd and patriotic businessman, revealing instead a series of financial losses and income from overseas that could come into conflict with his responsibilities as president. "I remain confident that the law is on the committee's side, and that our request meets the standard the Supreme Court set with its July 2020 rulings".

"We're looking at it very strongly".

The Times reported that "the dispute may center on a single claim that jumps off the page of Mr. Trump's 2009 tax return: a declaration of more than $700 million in business losses that he had not been allowed to use in prior years". He argues his committee's hiring of an attorney and pursuit of the tax returns the way legal advisors recommended would lead to a successful case "that's going to reverberate throughout American history".

The Times noted that public financial filings required of political candidates show only revenues, not net profits.

Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, claimed the Times' findings were "mostly, if not all, inaccurate". Trump got away with not paying income taxes on his "Apprentice" income thanks to reporting losses from his other businesses.

"They've been under audit for a long time.and when they're not, I would be proud to show it".

That includes $70,000 in hairstyling expenses tied to "The Apprentice", his former television program, and classifying a NY property described by the Trump Organization as a family retreat as an investment property to write off millions in property taxes.

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.

The president and his companies in 2017 paid significantly more in taxes to other countries than to his own - almost $16,000 to Panama, $145,400 to India and $156,824 to the Philippines.

He said that over the past decade Trump had paid "tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government" although the Times said he appeared to be conflating personal taxes such as Social Security with income tax.

Trump made the comments during a news briefing at the White House today, where he also claimed he had paid his taxes, but gave no specific details.

"It's totally fake news".

In Sunday's report, the Times said he was "a businessman-president in a tightening financial vice", with 300 million dollars worth of debt for which he is personally responsible coming due within the next four years.

His tax returns, a key talking point in the 2016 election, have been a constant presence during his presidency and ahead of November's election, when Mr Trump is seeking a second term.

"They treat me very very badly", he said of the agency. "The stories I read are so fake".

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