President Donald Trump has denied a report claiming that he evaded paying income tax for years.
The New York Times reported on the basis of what it claims tax records it obtained that Trump did not pay any income tax in 10 of the previous 15 years because he reported losing much more money than he made.
It also reported that the billionaire-turned politician paid only $750 each in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he won the presidency, and in 2017, in his first year in the White House.
In an exclusive story published on Sunday, The Times said it obtained Trump’s tax information extending over more than two decades, “revealing struggling properties, vast write-offs, an audit battle and hundreds of millions in debt coming due.”
The Times says Trump is engaged in a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million, according to the newspaper.
When the report was brought to his attention during a White House news conference Sunday, Trump said it is totally made up fake news.
“Actually I paid tax. And you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns – it’s under audit, they’ve been under audit for a long time,” he told reporters.
“The IRS does not treat me well. They treat me like the Tea Party. They treat me very badly,” he added.
The New York Times tried the same thing, according to Trump. “They always do only negative stories.”
Trump has frequently criticized the New York-based news outlet, which has won 130 Pulitzer Prizes over its more than a century old history.
He said The Times should give all those awards back because “everything was wrong.”
Answering another question, Trump said he can give an idea of how much he actually paid in taxes only after the audit and assessment are over.
The Times has promised to publish additional articles based on Trump’s tax-return data in the coming weeks.
In response to a letter summarizing The Times’s findings, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, said that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate.”
“Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015,” Garten said in a statement.
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