Trump’s tax returns released by House Democrats

The release, just days before Trump’s fellow Republicans retake control of the House from Democrats, provides the most detailed picture yet of Trump’s finances, shrouded in mystery and intrigue since his days as a budding Manhattan real estate developer in the 1980s.

The disclosures, which focus on Trump’s tenure and include foreign tax credits and charitable donations, come a month after Trump launched another campaign for the White House in 2024.

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The tax returns show that Trump has claimed foreign tax credits for taxes he has paid for various business ventures around the world, including licensing agreements for the use of his name on development projects and his golf courses in Scotland and Ireland.

Trump, known for building skyscrapers and hosting a reality TV show before winning the White House, provided some limited details about his holdings and income on mandatory disclosure forms. He has advertised his fortune in the financial statements he provides to banks to secure loans and financial magazines to justify his place in the rankings of the world’s billionaires.

Trump’s longtime accounting firm has since denied the statements, and New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit alleging that Trump and his Trump organization inflated the assets of the statements as part of a years-long fraud. Trump and his company have denied wrongdoing.

In October 2018, The New York Times released a Pulitzer Prize-winning series based on leaked tax records showing Trump received what is today the equivalent of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate holdings, with much of that money coming from what the Times “Tax evasion” called the 1990s.

A second series in 2020 showed that Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018, and paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the last 15 years because he generally lost more money than he made.

In its report last week, the Ways and Means Committee indicated that the Trump administration may have flouted a post-Watergate requirement mandating the auditing of a president’s tax returns.

The IRS only began reviewing Trump’s 2016 tax returns on April 3, 2019 — more than two years into his presidency — when the committee’s chairman, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., asked the agency for information on the returns asked

By comparison, there were audits by President Joe Biden for the 2020 and 2021 tax years, said Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman. A spokesman for former President Barack Obama said Obama has been tested in each of his eight years in office.

The Joint Committee on Taxation report last week raised several red flags on aspects of Trump’s tax returns, including his carried forward losses, deductions related to conservation and charity donations, and loans to his children that could be taxable gifts.

In response, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would require audits of all presidents’ income tax returns. Republicans strongly opposed the bill, raising concerns that a law mandating exams could violate taxpayer privacy and lead to exams being misused for political ends.

Trump’s longtime accountant, Donald Bender, testified at the Trump Organization’s recent criminal trial in Manhattan that Trump had reported losses on his tax returns every year for over a decade, including nearly $700 million in 2009 and $200 million in 2010.

Bender, a partner at Mazars USA LLP who has spent years preparing Trump’s personal tax returns, said Trump’s reported losses from 2009 through 2018 included net operating losses at some of the many businesses he owns through the Trump Organization.

The Trump Organization was convicted of tax fraud earlier this month for helping some executives evade taxes on company-paid perks like apartments and luxury cars.

AP

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Callan Tansill

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