New York Times reveals Donald Trump tax returns

May 8, 2019

President Trump reported losing more than $1 billion from 1985 to 1994, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing tax records it says it obtained.

Mr. Trump lost so much money that he avoided paying income taxes on returns for eight of the 10 years the paper reviewed.

The report comes as congressional Democrats have demanded access to more recent presidential tax returns, asking the IRS to release the president’s personal returns as well as those for some of his businesses.

The Treasury Department this week rejected that request, calling Democrats’ interest a partisan fishing expedition rather than a legitimate use of Congress’s investigative powers.

The records obtained by the newspaper deal with a far earlier part of the president’s history.

Though he portrayed himself as a wildly successful businessman, Mr. Trump was actually piling up losses, the newspaper said. It said he may have lost more than any other American.

For example, in 1985 Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from what the Times called his core businesses of casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings.

Over the 10 years, he reported $1.17 billion in losses.

The Times said it didn’t obtain the president’s actual returns, but did see information contained in the returns, which came from “someone who had legal access to it.”

The president’s team questioned the paper’s numbers, suggesting IRS transcripts from that period were unreliable.

The Times said it obtained other data from its source concerning Fred Trump, the president’s father, and those records matched up with the elder Trump’s tax information which the paper had already obtained.

The newspaper also gave insight into Mr. Trump’s income stream, which it said changed year to year. Some years it was dominated by stock earnings, while one year he claimed more than $67.1 million in salary, and another time showed what the paper called a “mysterious $52.9 million windfall in interest income.”

In the latter years of the 1980s, Mr. Trump made money by suggesting he was about to take over companies, making millions of dollars off soaring stocks then losing those gains “after investors stopped taking his takeover talk seriously,” the paper said.