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US NewsNYT: Tax papers suggest Trump had $1 billion in business losses over a decade

07:40  08 may  2019
07:40  08 may  2019 Source:   thehill.com

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President Trump's businesses lost nearly $1.2 billion between 1985 and 1994, according to The New York Times, citing IRS transcripts.

In 1990 and 1991 alone, according to the Times, Trump's business losses exceeded $250 million each year, more than twice those of the nearest taxpayer in the IRS information for the two years.

NYT: Tax papers suggest Trump had $1 billion in business losses over a decade © Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at an event to celebrate the anniversary of first lady Melania Trump's “Be Best” initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

The documents indicate he lost so much money during that decade that he avoided paying income tax for eight of the 10 years, according to the Times, although it was unclear whether the IRS asked him to make changes after audits.

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The Times said that it received different responses from Trump's team over time. A senior official told the Times several weeks ago that Trump "got massive depreciation and tax shelter because of large-scale construction and subsidized developments." But more recently, a lawyer for Trump said that the tax data was "demonstrably false."

NYT: Tax papers suggest Trump had $1 billion in business losses over a decade © Thomson Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at an event to celebrate the first anniversary of U.S. first lady Melania Trump's “Be Best” initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The Times's article comes amid a fight between House Democrats and the Trump administration over Democrats' request for Trump's personal and business tax returns from 2013 to 2018.

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NYT: Tax papers suggest Trump had $1 billion in business losses over a decade © Time & Life Pictures UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 01: Ivana Trump, Donald Trump, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Neal told reporters Tuesday, shortly before the Times's article gained widespread attention, that he planned to make a decision about his next steps by the end of the week. He noted that the administration hasn't been responding to many subpoenas and that he thinks the matter is heading to the courts.

The Times did not receive copies of Trump's actual tax returns from 1985 to 1994 but obtained copies of Trump's tax transcripts from those years that contain figures from his federal tax forms. During the 2016 election, the Times was anonymously mailed a copy of Trump's 1995 state tax returns, showing losses of more than $900 million.

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NYT: Tax papers suggest Trump had $1 billion in business losses over a decade

The two worst years for Trump in the 10-year period the Times examined were 1990 and 1991. The Times noted that the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino opened in 1990 and that the casino had a lot debt and did not produce enough revenue to cover the debt.

The only two years in the 10-year period when Trump paid income taxes were 1987 and 1988, and in both of those years Trump paid the alternative minimum tax - an alternative tax system aimed at preventing wealthy people from paying nothing in taxes. The tax law Trump signed in 2017 significantly reduced the number of people subject to the alternative minimum tax.

NYT: Tax papers suggest Trump had $1 billion in business losses over a decade © ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence attend a program for the first lady's Be Best initiative in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Times also found that between 1986 and 1988, Trump made millions by purchasing shares of stock, suggesting he was going to take over the companies to drive up the price and then selling the shares. The Times said that it appears he eventually lost most or all of the gains he obtained this way.

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The Times also reported last fall that Trump and his family had participated in "dubious" tax schemes during the 1990s in order to minimize the president's parents' estate and gift taxes.

NYT: Tax papers suggest Trump had $1 billion in business losses over a decade © Thomson Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a ceremony where he presented the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to the U.S. Military Academy Football Team, the U.S. Army's "West Point Black Knights," in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The period from 1985 to 1994 for which the Times obtained tax information includes the year when Trump published his best-selling book "Trump: The Art of the Deal" as well as years when several Trump hotels declared bankruptcy.

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