Joe Biden has attacked Donald Trump’s tax returns in a new campaign ad after the President reportedly paid just $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017.
Documents show the President paid no income tax in 11 of the 18 years studied, according to a damning report by the New York Times.
The ad, shared on Twitter by the Biden campaign just hours after the bombshell story emerged, compares average income taxes for different jobs to highlight the minimal contribution made by Trump.
President Donald Trump paid extremely little in income taxes in recent years as heavy losses from his business enterprises offset hundreds of millions of dollars in income, the New York Times reported on Sunday, citing tax-return data
Joe Biden has attacked Donald Trump’s tax returns in a new campaign ad after the President reportedly paid just $750 in federal income tax by comparing the amount to other professions
The video, which was retweeted by Biden’s official account, shows a number of faces with no narration and their tax contributions.
It says elementary school teachers paid $7,239, firefighters paid $5,283, nurses paid $10,216 and construction managers paid $16,447 in income tax in 2019.
It then cuts to Trump and his reported $750 federal income tax contribution.
The video is the first official comment from the Biden campaign on the story which broke on Sunday night.
It detailed how the President was able to minimize his tax bill by reporting heavy losses across his business empire, including at his golf courses.
The ad shows the typical income tax paid in 2019 by a registered nurse, nearly $10,000 more than Trump’s reported contribution
Documents seen by the New York Times show the President paid no income tax in 11 of the 18 years studied
The video is the first official comment from the Biden campaign on the story which broke on Sunday night
That’s despite receiving $427.4 million through 2018 from his reality television program and other endorsement deals. The president could also face mounting financial pressure in the years ahead. The tax records show he’s carrying a total of $421 million in loans and debt that are primarily due within four years.
Responding to the report Sunday evening Trump told reporters: ‘It’s totally fake news. Made up. Totally fake news.’ The president, who campaigned for office as a billionaire real estate mogul and successful businessman, said he has paid taxes, though he gave no specifics.
The Times reported Trump claimed $47.4 million in losses in 2018, despite claiming income of at least $434.9 million in a financial disclosure that year. The Times emphasized the documents reveal only what Trump told the government about his businesses, and did not disclose his true wealth.
The New York Times had laready obtained copies of Donald Trump’s tax returns from 1995. Pictured are published pages of those returns
Trump has previously blasted the long-running quest for his financial records as a ‘continuation of the most disgusting witch hunt in the history of our country’. The businessman is the only modern president who has refused to release his tax returns. Before he was elected, he had promised to do so.
Trump’s lawyer Alan Garten, said that ‘most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate’. He added: ‘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.’
The disclosure, which the Times said comes from tax return data it obtained extending over two decades, comes at a pivotal moment ahead of the first presidential debate Tuesday, and weeks before a divisive election.
Responding to the report Sunday evening Trump told reporters: ‘It’s totally fake news’
Key findings from the report:
- Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017
- He paid no income taxes in 10 of the last 15 years, despite receiving $427.4 million through 2018 from The Apprentice and other endorsements
- Trump minimized his tax bill by reporting heavy losses across his businesses
- He is also said to have filed expenses including $70,000 on styling his hair
- A $95,464 payment to Ivanka’s favorite hair and makeup stylist was also listed
- The report also suggests ‘consulting fees’ to Ivanka helped lower the tax bill
- It also says Trump is embroiled in a IRS audit over a $72.9 million tax refund
- The Miss Universe pageant is said to have generated $2.3 million for Trump
The investigation, published Sunday, reveals tax deductions on expenses including $70,000 on styling Trump’s hair for The Apprentice.
Losses in the property businesses solely owned and managed by Trump appear to have offset income from his stake in The Apprentice and other entities with multiple owners.
The report also suggests ‘consulting fees’ were given to the president’s eldest daughter Ivanka, which appear to have helped lowered the family’s tax bill.
KEY FINDINGS FROM THE REPORT ON TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS
TRUMP PAID JUST $750 IN TAXES IN BOTH 2016 and 2017.
The newspaper said Trump initially paid $95 million in taxes over the 18 years it studied. But he managed to recover most of that money by claiming — and receiving — a stunning $72.9 million federal tax refund. According to the Times, Trump also pocketed $21.2 million in state and local refunds, which are typically based on federal filings.
Trump’s outsize refund became the subject of a now-long-standing Internal Revenue Service audit of his finances. The audit was widely known. Trump has claimed it was the very reason why he cannot release his returns. But the Times report is the first to identify the issue that was mainly in dispute.
As a result of the refund, Trump paid an average $1.4 million in federal taxes from 2000 to 2017, the Times reported. By contrast, the average U.S. taxpayer in the top .001% of earners paid about $25 million annually over the same timeframe.
TRUMP HAS FINANCED AN EXTRAVAGANT LIFESTYLE WITH THE USE OF BUSINESS EXPENSES
From his homes, his aircraft — and $70,000 on hair styling during his television show “The Apprentice” — Trump has capitalized on cost incurred from his businesses to finance a luxurious lifestyle.
The Times noted that Trump’s homes, planes and golf courses are part of the Trump family business and, as such, Trump classified them as business expenses as well. Because companies can write off business expenses as deductions, all such expenses have helped reduce Trump’s tax liability.
MANY OF HIS BEST-KNOWN BUSINESSES ARE MONEY-LOSERS
The president has frequently pointed to his far-flung hotels, golf courses and resorts as evidence of his success as a developer and businessman. Yet these properties have been been draining money.
The Times reported that Trump has claimed $315 million in losses since 2000 on his golf courses, including the Trump National Doral near Miami, which Trump has portrayed as a crown jewel in his business empire. Likewise, his Trump International Hotel in Washington has lost $55 million, the Times reported.
FOREIGN VISITORS HAVE HELPED SUPPORT TRUMP’S PROPERTIES
Since Trump began his presidential run, lobbyists, foreign governments and politicians have lavished significant sums of money on his properties, a spending spree that raised questions about its propriety and legality.
The Times report illustrates just how much that spending has been: Since 2015, his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida has taken in $5 million more a year from a surge in membership. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association spent at least $397,602 in 2017 at Trump’s Washington hotel. Overseas projects have produced millions more for Trump — $3 million from the Philippines, $2.3 million from India and $1 million from Turkey.
TRUMP WILL FACE FINANCIAL PRESSURE AS DEBTS COME DUE
Trump seems sure to face heavy financial pressures from the enormous pile of debt he has absorbed. The Times said the president appears to be responsible for $421 million in loans, most of which will come due within four years. On top of that, a $100 million mortgage on Trump Tower in New York will come due in 2022.
Reporting by the Associated Press