Trump’s tax returns show ties to China and other countries. Here’s what else they reveal – National

In one of its last acts under Democratic scrutiny, the US House of Representatives on Friday released six years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns, dating back to 2015, the year he announced his candidacy. to the presidency.

The thousands of pages of financial documents have been the subject of a protracted legal battle after Trump broke precedent by not releasing his tax returns while running for, and then holding, the nation’s highest office.

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Donald Trump’s tax returns released after years of struggle with Congress

A few takeaways from the document review:

The longtime real estate and media mogul with business interests on multiple continents was asked during a 2020 presidential debate about the possibility of having a bank account in China. He said he shut it down before he started his 2016 campaign _ a statement his tax returns show was not true.

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« The bank account was in 2013. It was closed in 2015, I believe, » Trump said during the debate. “I was thinking of making a deal in China. Like millions of other people, I thought about it. I decided not to. »

Tax returns, however, indicate that Trump had a bank account in China in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Click to play video: 'What comes next for Donald Trump's tax returns?'

What’s next on Donald Trump’s tax returns?

Returns show accounts in other foreign countries over the years, including the UK, southern Ireland and the Caribbean island nation of St Maarten. By 2018, Trump had apparently closed all of his overseas accounts other than the one in the UK, which is home to one of his flagship golf properties.

The returns do not detail the amount of money held in these accounts.

China is one of many countries where Trump has said he has made money over the years.

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It reported $38 million in gross overseas revenue in 2016 and $55 million in 2017, from countries including Azerbaijan, India, Indonesia, Panama, Philippines, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

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Obama says Trump may owe more taxes to foreign countries ‘than he pays to the United States’

This type of information about potential conflicts of interest for the Commander-in-Chief of the United States is one of the reasons why presidents normally release their tax returns.

We do not know where this foreign money comes from. Trump also claimed tens of millions of dollars in losses and expenses in his overseas investments, but his debts there sometimes exceeded those in the United States. In 2016, for example, Trump told the Internal Revenue Service that he paid $1.2 million in foreign taxes. , while he ended up paying only $750 in US income taxes.

It has long been known that Trump, like many wealthy people, was able to exploit the country’s complex tax code to avoid paying as large a portion of his income to the federal government as working families. When pressed not to pay federal taxes during a 2016 debate against Democrat Hillary Clinton, Trump retorted, « That makes me smart. »

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It also highlights the two-tier tax system that allows wealthy people like Trump to take advantage of benefits and loopholes not available to ordinary households. In 2020, for example, Trump said he owned more than 150 private companies that claimed losses, sometimes in the millions. Partly by claiming those losses, Trump reduced his own federal tax liability to zero that year.

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US presidential debate: Biden urges Trump to release tax returns after Trump claims he paid ‘millions’

Some of those losses were real as the coronavirus pandemic hit the economy. But others reflect special deductions developers like Trump can take on building and equipment depreciation.

Some losses claimed by Trump may be more questionable – one of the companies he said he owns is called « Unreimbursed Expenses ». The Joint Committee on Taxation noted that one of Trump’s companies claimed $438,000 in losses for gift card redemptions and called for further investigation to determine if the losses were genuine _ one of several deductions which the Democratic-controlled committee has called for further investigation.

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These are the kinds of deductions that the typical American household, earning $70,000 a year, cannot accept.

No charitable donations reported in 2020

In the last year of his presidency, Trump said he made no charitable donations.

This contrasts with the previous two years, when Trump said he made donations worth around $500,000. It’s unclear if any of the figures include his promise to donate his $400,000 presidential salary to the US government.

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Trump, who has bragged about being a billionaire, told The Associated Press in 2015 that he donates « to hundreds of charities and people in need of help. »

He said: « It’s one of the things I love doing the most and one of the great reasons I’ve made a lot of money. »

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He reported larger donations in 2016 and 2017, donating $1.1 million the year he won the presidency and $1.8 million in his first year in office.

Money from the art world

Trump received an annual pension of $77,808 from the Screen Actors Guild, as well as a pension of $6,543 in 2017 from another film and television union, and declared action residuals of up to 14 $141 in 2015, according to tax returns.

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Trump dismisses report that he paid little or no income tax

Trump has made appearances in various movies, including « Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, » but his biggest on-screen success came with his reality TV shows « The Apprentice » and « The Celebrity Apprentice. » where each episode would end. in a boardroom with Trump dismissing a contestant with his trademark phrase: « You’re fired! »

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Trump also said he paid just over $400,000 from 2015 to 2017 in « book authorship » fees. In 2015 Trump published the book Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, featuring a ghostwriter.

In 2015, Trump said he received $750,000 in speaking fees.

Trump broke political tradition by not releasing his tax returns as president. Now Republicans are warning that Democrats will pay a political price by releasing normally confidential tax information.

Trump himself pointed this out in a statement Friday morning after his feedback was made public. « The Great American Divide will now get worse, » Trump said. « The Radical Left Democrats have everything armed, but remember, it’s a dangerous two-way street! »

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Trump says New York Times report on his tax returns is ‘fake news’

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax issues and released the Trump documents, warned that in the future the committee could release the statements of union leaders or Supreme Court justices. Democrats have responded with a proposal to require the publication of tax returns by any presidential candidate _ legislation that is unlikely to pass, given that Republicans take control of the House next week.

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Notably, the GOP cannot release President Joe Biden’s tax returns because they are already public. Biden resumed the long-standing bipartisan tradition of releasing his tax records, releasing 22 years of his statements during his presidential campaign.

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin and Michael R. Sisak in New York and Chris Rugaber in Washington contributed to this report.


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