WASHINGTON, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Donald Trump paid no income tax in the last full year of his presidency as he reported losses from his large business interests, according to tax figures released by a panel of congress.
The records, released Tuesday by the Democratic-led House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee after a year-long battle, show that Trump’s income, and his tax liability, have fluctuated over his four terms. year in the White House.
The records cut against the former Republican president’s long-developed image as a successful businessman as he mounts another bid for the White House.
Trump and his wife, Melania, paid some kind of tax for four years, the documents show, but were able to reduce their income taxes for several years because the income from the Trump’s business is more than balancing deductions and losses.
The committee questioned the legitimacy of some of the deductions, including one for $916 million, and members said Tuesday that the tax returns were short on details. The panel is expected to release redacted versions of its full return in the coming days.
Trump has refused to publicly release his tax returns during both his presidential bids and his campaign for office, although all other major party presidential candidates have done so in large numbers. decades.
The committee obtained the records after a year-long battle and voted Tuesday to make them public.
A Trump spokesman said the release of the documents was politically motivated.
“If this injustice can happen to President Trump, it can happen to all Americans regardless,” Trump Organization spokesman Steven Cheung said Wednesday.
Democrats on the panel said their review found that tax authorities did not properly examine Trump’s complex tax returns to ensure accuracy.
Although the US Internal Revenue Service is supposed to audit presidents’ tax returns every year, it didn’t until Democrats pushed for action in 2019.
The IRS assigned only one audit agent most of the time, the panel found, and did not examine some of the deductions claimed by Trump.
The IRS declined to comment.
Before taking office, Trump reported significant losses over the years from his business to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars in income, according to media reports and trial testimony about his finances.
Documents released by the committee show that pattern continued during his time in the White House.
During that time Trump and his wife are liable for self-employment and household employment taxes. As a result, they paid a total of $3 million in taxes during those four years.
But the deductions enable them to reduce their income tax liability for several years.
In 2017, Trump and his wife reported adjusted gross income of negative $12.9 million, resulting in a net income tax of $750, records show.
They reported adjusted gross income of $24.3 million in 2018 and paid a net tax of $1 million, while in 2019 they reported $4.4 million in 2019 income and paid $134,000 in taxes.
In 2020, they reported a loss of $4.8 million and paid no income taxes.
Reporting by Andy Sullivan in Washington Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington Editing by Scott Malone and Matthew Lewis
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