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Monday Sep 28 2020

NYT report reveals President Trump paid very few taxes in years leading to presidency

US President Donald Trump President, however, has dismissed the report, citing it as fake news. Photo: Reuters/File

US President Donald Trump President paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency and in his first year in the White House, a report published in The New York Times revealed on Sunday.

Citing the tax return data, the American publication said that the president had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made in his businesses.

“As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed.

Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million,” the article read.

However, in response to a letter covering The Times’s findings, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organisation, said that “most, if not all, of the facts, appear to be inaccurate” and requested the documents on which they were based.

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.

Read more: US Justice Department asks to defend Donald Trump in rape case

Speaking at a news conference at the White House, Donald Trump dismissed the report as "fake news" and claimed he has paid taxes, although he gave no further details on the matter.

However, his lawyer, Garten, in a statement said: “Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015.”

Noting that Trump was currently embroiled in a decade-long Internal Revenue Service audit over tax refund claims, the publication also mentioned that it had obtained tax-return data covering over two decades for Trump and companies within his business organisation.

However, it did not have information about his personal returns from 2018 or 2019.