Over the course of his candidacy, Republican nominee and real estate mogul Donald Trump has refused to follow the lead of past presidential candidates and release his tax information.
While Mitt Romney was criticized just four years ago for paying only 14 percent in income tax, billionaire Donald Trump may not even pay that. Due to extreme tax breaks in real estate and manipulating numbers, it is highly likely that Trump doesn’t pay anything in income taxes. Perhaps this is why he refuses to release his returns.
According to the New York Times, Len Green, a real estate investor and chairman of a tax advisory firm, states:
‘It’s both possible and legal that Donald Trump would pay little or no income tax.’
Though Trump’s properties are bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, due to extensive tax breaks, Trump is able to claim he had zero income, or even negative income, for the year. Trump uses one of the most fraudulent tax loopholes to his advantage rather than paying taxes like the rest of the country.
After asking various tax experts about the major real estate tax loopholes, James Stewart of the New York Times learned about “developers in Mr. Trump’s league who pay little or no income tax despite hundreds of millions in cash flow.”
No names or specifics were given, as these tax experts help their clientele with the exact same loopholes Trump is using to avoid paying taxes.
While Trump travels around complaining about others evading taxes, he himself could be one of the biggest culprits. He recently spoke out against corporate executives, stating they “get away with murder” by paying the very minimum on their taxes, then followed up by boasting about how little he pays on his. He then backtracked and claimed he pays “substantial” amounts each year.
With every candidate since Richard Nixon agreeing to release their tax information, more and more people are speculating about how little Donald Trump truly pays in taxes. If Trump’s claims about paying substantial amounts each year were true, his narcissism would get the best of him and his tax payments would become yet another boasting point.
Trump is always the first to announce how much money he makes; however, the second he speaks to a tax preparer, the script flips. Trump goes from making hundreds of millions of dollars a year to losing money in a matter of minutes when it comes to paying taxes and helping out the government he wants to run.
While no recent tax returns have been released, his returns from the late 70s show the following:
‘Mr. Trump reported losses and paid no federal income tax in 1978 and 1979 and paid only modest sums — a total of less than $75,000 — for the prior three years.’
Trump’s tax record is baffling and shows that he will do anything to save money. As Trump’s properties are aging and thought to be depreciating in value, his tax breaks are holding steady. The Republican nominee may never have to pay federal taxes.