Advisors, tax pros and political strategists were quick to weigh in Monday with their thoughts on the report by The New York Times that President Donald Trump paid just $750 in U.S. income taxes in both 2016 and 2017.
The news, which the Times reported Sunday, comes just two days before the first presidential debate Tuesday evening.
“He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made,” the Times reported.
Trump also has “hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed,” according to the paper, along with a “decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.”
The Times’ report does not include Trump’s personal returns for 2018 or 2019. More articles by The Times, however, are coming.
Trump tweeted Monday morning: “… I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits…..”
The Fake News Media, just like Election time 2016, is bringing up my Taxes & all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information & only bad intent. I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 28, 2020
‘No Real Surprises’
The report on Trump’s taxes “didn’t disclose much that wasn’t known or suspected — he pays virtually no taxes, his companies hemorrhage money, he gets huge write-offs for employing family members as ‘consultants,’ etc. No real surprises there,” Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist for AGF Investments, said in his Monday morning email briefing.
Trump “naturally called the mammoth Times report ‘fake news’ designed to influence the election,” Valliere stated, “and that will be enough for his fanatic base.”
Twitter was abuzz with thoughts on the news.
Jeff Levine, a certified financial planner, CPA and director of advanced planning at Buckingham Wealth Partners, tweeted Monday: “Incredible story. A few quick thoughts…
- Was inevitable the returns would leak, but I’m truly amazed it took this long.
- Not paying taxes in 10 of 15 years is not at all surprising
- I doubt anything revealed tonight will change anyone’s vote in Nov.”
Another tweet by a Washington Post reporter compared Trump’s federal tax bill his first year in office to those paid by other presidents:
Ronald Reagan: $165,202
George H.W. Bush: $101,382
Bill Clinton: $62,670
George W. Bush: $250,221