Trump releases tax returns after long battle with Congress

congressional democrats released thousands of pages former president donald trump’s Friday’s tax returns provide the most detailed look at his finances for six years, including his time in the White House when he broke with the administration in an effort to keep the information private decades of precedent.

The documents include personal returns from Trump and his wife, Melania, and Trump’s business entities from 2015-2020. They show how Trump is using the tax code to lower his tax liability and reveal details about foreign accounts, charitable donations and the performance of some of his most high-profile businesses, which have remained largely immune to public scrutiny.

The disclosure marks the culmination of a years-long legal battle that has stretched from the presidential campaign to Congress and Supreme Court Because Trump has resisted efforts to share details about his financial history — a departure from the transparency practices followed by all of his post-Watergate predecessors.the record was released just a few days ago Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives a few weeks later Trump embarked on another campaign for the White House.

The records show how Trump limited his tax liability by offsetting company losses as well as millions of dollars in business expenses, depreciation of assets and other deductions.

While Trump paid $641,931 in federal income taxes in 2015, the year he began his campaign for president, he paid just $750 in 2016 and 2017, according to a report released last week. Congress’s nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. He paid nearly $1 million in 2018, only $133,445 in 2019 and nothing in 2020, when he lost his re-election bid.

The records also detail Trump’s foreign assets.

The documents show that Trump claimed to have bank accounts in China, Ireland and the United Kingdom between 2015 and 2017, even when he was commander in chief. However, from 2018, he only reported one account in the UK. The returns also show that Trump claimed foreign tax credits for taxes paid by his various business ventures around the world, including licensing arrangements to use his name on development projects and his golf courses in Scotland and Ireland. course. In 2018, Trump paid more foreign taxes than net federal income, according to the Joint Tax Council.

Trump’s charitable giving fluctuated during his presidency, but in his final years it was only a small percentage of his income, the documents show. In 2020, the year the coronavirus ravaged the economy, Trump reported no charitable donations at all. In 2019 and 2018, he reportedly wrote donation checks for about $500,000. In earlier years, the figure was higher — $1.8 million in 2017 and $1.1 million in 2016.

It was unclear whether the reported amount included Trump’s $400,000 annual presidential salary, which he has said he would forgo and which he claims he donates to various federal departments.

The release marks the latest setback for Trump, who has been mired in investigations, including federal and state, into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The Justice Department has also been investigating a trove of classified documents discovered at his Mar-a-Lago club and possible efforts to thwart the investigation.

In a statement Friday, Trump lashed out at Democrats and the Supreme Court for his release.

“For a lot of people, it’s going to lead to terrible things,” he said. “The Radical Left Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, it’s a dangerous two-way street!”

The returns show “how proudly I’ve been successful and how I’ve been able to take advantage of depreciation and various other tax breaks” to build his business, he said.

Joint Economic Committee Chairman Rep. Don Beyer, who chaired the House’s routine pro forma session on Friday, said great care was taken to ensure the returns were treated sensitively and that personal and other identifying information had been redacted.

“We’ve been trying to be very careful to make sure we’re not ‘weaponizing’ the IRS return,” said Beyer, D-Va.He was also a member of the House Ways and Means Committee that wrote the tax, which held a Party Line Voting The return was made public last week.

The returns detail how Trump has used the tax code to minimize his liability, including carrying forward huge losses from previous years where the tax code allows. During the 2016 campaign, Trump said paying little or no income tax in certain years “makes me smart.”

His tax returns show he did this by structuring the company as a large sole proprietorship, with nearly every dollar, pound, euro and yuan flowing through his golf courses, hotels and other properties impacting — in many cases Next helps — his own bottom line.

For example, in 2020, more than 150 of Trump’s business entities listed negative qualifying business income, which the IRS defines as “the net amount of income, gains, deductions, and losses from any qualifying trade or business for qualifying items.” . The total for that tax year, plus nearly $9 million in carryforward losses from previous years, brings Trump’s qualifying losses in his final year in office to more than $58 million.

Another loser for Trump: the ice rink his company operated in New York City’s Central Park until last year. Trump reported that Wollman Rink lost a total of $2.6 million over the six years it was made public. The rink, an early jewel of the Trump Organization, was run through a contract with New York City and lost $1.3 million in 2015 despite bringing in $9.3 million in revenue, according to tax returns. The rink turned a $298,000 profit in 2016, but shrunk in each of the next four years.

Trump’s finances have been shrouded in mystery since his days as a budding Manhattan real estate developer in the 1980s.

Trump, known for building skyscrapers and hosting reality TV shows before winning the White House, did provide limited details about his property and income in mandatory disclosure forms and financial statements that he provided to banks to obtain loans and provide Give financial magazines proof that he’s on the world’s billionaires list.

Trump’s longtime accounting firm has denied the claims, and New York Attorney General Letitia James file a lawsuit Alleges that Trump and his Trump Organization fraudulently inflated the value of assets in their statements. Trump and his company have denied wrongdoing.

In October 2018, The New York Times published a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning pieces based on leaked tax records that contradicted Trump’s attempts to sell himself as a self-made businessman. It shows that Trump received at least $413 million in modern value from real estate held by his father, much of it from what the New York Times called “tax evasion” in the 1990s.

The second series for 2020 shows that Trump paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the past 15 years because he typically lost more money than he made.

In a report last week, the Ways and Means Committee said the Trump administration may be ignoring a request Request an audit of the president’s tax filings.

The IRS did not start auditing Trump’s 2016 tax returns until April 3, 2019 — more than two years after he became president — when Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., asked The agency provides tax-related information returns.

Every presidential and major party candidate since Richard Nixon has voluntarily released at least a summary of their tax information to the public. Bucking the trend both as a candidate and as president, Trump has repeatedly claimed that his taxes are “under audit” and cannot be released.

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Associated Press writers Paul Wiseman and Farnoush Amiri in Washington, Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina, and Nicholas Riccardi in Denver contributed to this report.

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