With election season in full swing – just four weeks away from the big day – Donald Trump has had some issues regarding his income taxes surface. Mr. Trump has not, and as of right now, is not planning to release his income tax information to the public. Every single presidential candidate since 1976 has released their income tax information to the public and it seems the streak will end with Trump. Will he actually end up releasing the records to appease his loyal voters?
The answer remains unclear. According to the New York Times, Donald Trump reported a $916 million loss on his 1995 tax returns, and in turn has not paid federal income taxes in 18 years. The loss was spread out over that 18 year period to offset his other profitable business ventures.
Trump’s taxable income over the last few years is still unknown, and will remain that way until he releases the documents – if he ever does. A loss of $916 million is a large enough amount to eradicate $50 million per year of taxable income.
This loss, spread out over the 18 years, would have been enough to to completely eliminate any need for him to pay taxes on the money he got from being on The Apprentice, as well as the income he has gotten from 1995 until 2009 as the CEO of the company he created to take over his Atlantic City Casinos.
Many Republicans are calling Trump a genius because of the legal nature of his income tax evasion, assuming it is actually taking place. “The reality is, this is part of our tax code. The man’s a genius. He knows how to operate the tax code to the benefit of the people he’s serving,” former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“There’s no one who’s shown more genius in their way to maneuver around the tax code and to rightfully use the laws to do that,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Mr. Trump’s campaign also sent out a statement regarding the issue: “Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required,” the statement said. “That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes. Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President and he is the only one that knows how to fix it.”
It will be interesting to see how this tax issue will fan out throughout the course of the next few crucial weeks of the election.
Stay tuned for the next debate on October 9 to see how this will affect his campaign performance.