Washington, Sep 27 (efe-epa).- The New York Times reported Sunday that it had gained access to 15 years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns, both before and after he entered the White House, and the documents reveal huge outstanding debts and the fact that he paid no taxes whatsoever over the course of 11 years and merely $750 in each of two more years, ostensibly due to enormous business losses.
Since launching his 2016 run for the presidency, Trump has refused to make public his tax returns, claiming that he could not do so until the Internal Revenue Service was no longer auditing him, however being under audit does not preclude someone from making their tax returns public, and critics of the president have asserted that the president has been using this as a threadbare excuse for not releasing that material.
All other presidential candidates in modern times, however, have made public many years of their tax returns to reassure the public that they have no outstanding financial exposure that might make them unable to properly carry out their duties or be influenced by foreign governments.
The New York Times revealed that Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016, the year in which he defeated Hillary Clinton for the presidency, and during his first year in the White House he also paid only $750, a minuscule amount compared with the huge fortune – which he says amounts to billions – he has amassed in his real estate business.
The tax returns for 2018 and 2019 reportedly were not included in the documents the Times received.
The president allegedly also paid no taxes at all in 11 of the past 18 years because he reported to the IRS that he had lost more money in those years than he had earned.
Currently, the daily said, Trump’s finances are under pressure because he has hundreds of millions of dollars in debt that has come due and which he had personally guaranteed.
The president also has been mired for the past decade in a battle with the IRS, which has questioned the legitimacy of a $72.9 million refund he claimed and received after declaring enormous business losses.
An adverse ruling in that legal battle could cost Trump more than $100 million, according to The New York Times.
In response, at a White House press conference, Trump said that the report was “fake news” and lashed out at the paper for writing “negative” articles about him.
In addition, he claimed that the IRS “treats me badly” and claimed, once again, that his taxes are under audit by that agency, going on to say that he will make them public once that process concludes.
At the press conference, Trump also said he pays “a lot” in federal income taxes. “I pay a lot, and I pay a lot in state income taxes,” he said.
Trump said that his entire tax situation “will … be revealed” – that is, presumably the tax returns “and much more” – when the IRS audit is completed, although he gave no timeline for that, and it bears repeating that he made similar promises during the 2016 campaign but has never followed through on them.
In addition, the Times’ article quoted one of the Trump Organization’s attorneys, Alan Garten, who said in a statement that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate” and demanded that the paper furnish to him all the documents upon which its report was based.
Garten also told the news organization that 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 paper said that it would not make Trump’s tax data public, which it said would jeopardize its sources “who have taken enormous personal risks to help inform the public.”
Democrats in Congress have been trying to force Trump to make his tax returns public, and the House of Representatives is suing for access to his tax returns as part of congressional oversight, but so far they have had no success.
In addition, the Manhattan district attorney’s office has demanded the tax returns from the Mazars accounting firm that prepared them as part of an investigation into whether secret payments from Trump’s 2016 election campaign to porn star Stormy Daniels violated New York state law.
In that case, Trump has also refused to make public any of his tax returns.