More Reading on Trump’s Taxes

  • [Analysis] Revelations and takeaways from Trump’s tax records. Trump has paid no federal income taxes for much of the past two decades; this tax avoidance sets him apart from most other affluent Americans; Trump’s tax avoidance also sets him apart from past presidents; a large refund has been crucial to his tax avoidance; the $72.9 million refund has since become the subject of a long-running battle with the IRS; Trump classifies much of the spending on his personal lifestyle as the cost of business; Trump’s estate in Westchester County, N.Y., typifies his aggressive definition of business expenses; Trump’s companies set aside about 20% of income for unexplained “consulting fees”; Trump’s businesses lose large amounts of money; the most successful part of the Trump business has been his personal brand; Trump’s unprofitable companies help reduce his tax bill; with money from “The Apprentice,” Trump went on his biggest buying spree since the 1980s; his 2016 presidential campaign may have been partly an attempt to resuscitate his brand; the presidency has helped his business; many of his businesses continue to lose money; Trump will soon face several major bills that could put further pressure on his finances; and Trump is personally on the hook for some of these bills. (New York Times / Associated Press / The Guardian)
  • [Analysis] What Trump was trying to hide by holding back his tax returns. “For years, the political world has speculated on what Trump was trying to hide by holding back his returns, and by falsely claiming that he can’t release them until the IRS finishes an extended audit. Was it that he paid no income taxes at all in some years? Was it that he was far less successful a businessman than he let on? Was he claiming legally dubious deductions? The answer, it turns out, is all of the above.” (Vox)
  • [Analysis] What we know — and still want to know — about Trump’s company. (Washington Post)
  • [Analysis] Trump’s legal risks once he’s out of office. “Trump took aggressive tax positions and that the IRS is challenging a $72.9 million refund claimed a decade ago in an audit that has yet to be resolved. If the Internal Revenue Service ultimately prevails, Trump could be liable for millions of dollars in penalties. He potentially could be subject to criminal prosecution if the IRS mounted a case that he knowingly violated the law, though that would be very difficult to do.” (Bloomberg)
  • [Analysis] Here’s how much you had to make in 2017 to pay more income tax than Trump: A single adult without kids making $18,000 would have paid more. (Vox / Washington Post)
  • How Trump’s taxes compare to those of other presidents. Obama paid nearly $1.8 million in federal income tax his first year in office, George W. Bush’s first-year federal tax bill was $250,221, and prior presidents each paid tens of thousands of dollars in taxes during the first years of their administrations. Trump paid $750. (Washington Post)
  • [Read] The New York Times Editor’s Note on the Trump tax investigation. (New York Times)

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