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What President Trump’s Tax Returns Reveal About The Tax Code

President Donald Trump's tax records were obtained by The New York Times, which 
recently published an investigation into the documents.
President Donald Trump's tax records were obtained by The New York Times, which recently published an investigation into the documents.

Journalists at The New York Times obtained and published their findings on President Donald Trump’s tax returns. The investigation gives us more context on the president’s businesses, where and from whom he’s received money and more.

Here are some of the top takeaways The Times compiled from their investigation.

Mr. Trump paid no federal income taxes in 11 of 18 years that The Times examined. In 2017, after he became president, his tax bill was only $750.

  • He has reduced his tax bill with questionable measures, including a $72.9 million tax refund that is the subject of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

  • Many of his signature businesses, including his golf courses, report losing large amounts of money — losses that have helped him to lower his taxes.

  • The financial pressure on him is increasing as hundreds of millions of dollars in loans he personally guaranteed are soon coming due.

  • Even while declaring losses, he has managed to enjoy a lavish lifestyle by taking tax deductions on what most people would consider personal expenses, including residences, aircraft and $70,000 in hairstyling for television.

  • Ivanka Trump, while working as an employee of the Trump Organization, appears to have received “consulting fees” that also helped reduce the family’s tax bill.

  • As president, he has received more money from foreign sources and U.S. interest groups than previously known. The records do not reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia.

    Find our last conversation about the president and his taxes here.

    The president denied any wrongdoing. But why is the president paying so little compared to previous presidents and other wealthy Americans?

    Meanwhile, polls suggest most Americans think paying your fair share is part of being a good citizen. What’s fair? And why is it so hard to simplify the tax code?

    We take a look at what President Trump’s relationship with his taxes says about who pays what in America and how the Internal Revenue Service enforces the tax code.

    Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.