Dear Commons Community,
The New York Times has obtained tax-return data for President Trump and his companies that covers more than two decades. Mr. Trump has long refused to release this information, making him the first president in decades to hide basic details about his finances. His refusal has made his tax returns among the most sought-after documents in recent memory.
Among the key findings of The Times’s 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.
It is important to remember that the returns are not an unvarnished look at Mr. Trump’s business activity. They are instead his own portrayal of his companies, compiled for the I.R.S. But they do offer the most detailed picture yet available.
Trump’s income tax information will be as important an issue as the coronavirus pandemic and Supreme Court nominee Amy Comey Barrett going into the presidential election.