Report says Donald Trump paid $38 million in income tax in 2005, White House confirms.

15-03-2017
HT


US President Donald Trump paid a tax of $38 million on an income of $150 million in 2005, after writing off millions in losses from previous years, according to a document made public by MSNBC and confirmed by the White House on Tuesday.

The two-page tax return, called Form 1040 (similar to Form 16 in India), was obtained by David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and he reported it first on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show”.

Trump, who has often claimed to be a billionaire and likes to flaunt his wealth, has rejected calls to release his tax returns breaking from a tradition going back to Republican president Richard Nixon. He has said he can’t release them because they are under audit by the Internal Revenue Service, that voters are not interested only reporters are, and that this is not such a long tradition.

But the White House pushed back pre-emptively on Tuesday night, saying that publishing those returns would be illegal.

It said in a statement, “You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago,” the statement said. It added that Trump, as “one of the most successful businessmen in the world,” paid “no more tax than legally required.”

The unauthorized release or publishing of federal tax returns is a criminal offense, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail. But the show’s host Maddow argued that MSNBC was exercising its First Amendment right to publish information in the public interest.

The White House statement went on to say: “Mr Trump paid $38 million dollars even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $150 million dollars, as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and this illegally published return proves just that.

Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the President will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans.”

The amount revealed on Tuesday was low relative to his boast about wealth, but president doesn’t like paying taxes and has said so multiple times in the past. “I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible,” he told ABC in 2016.

The White House did not say if it would release returns from other years as well.

 

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