President Donald Trump said on Monday that he paid millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled to depreciation and tax credits, adding that he is “extremely under leveraged” and suggesting that he may release financial statements that would show all his assets and debts.
Trump was responding to a New York Times report that claimed insight into the president’s tax returns, which he has fought to keep private and which Trump said the newspaper obtained “illegally” and then reported on with “only bad intent.”
The report said Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, after years of reporting heavy losses from his business enterprises. The tax-return data that the New York Times obtained reportedly spans several decades but does not include the president’s personal returns from 2018 or 2019.
“I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I am extremely under leveraged—I have very little debt compared to the value of assets.”
Trump’s comments echo a response to the New York Times report by Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, who told the newspaper that “most, if not all” of the information about the tax returns appear to be inaccurate, adding that Trump paid “millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015” while over the past ten years, he paid “tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government.”
In his statement, Trump also said he may release financial statements from the time he announced he was running for office, calling them “very IMPRESSIVE,” in line with the theme of the many comments he has made about the reputed vastness of his wealth. While Trump’s net worth is not a matter of public record, Forbes recently estimated it at $2.5 billion.
“I am the only President on record to give up my yearly $400,000 plus Presidential Salary!” Trump also wrote in the statement, hinting at the fact that only someone with considerable wealth would be prone to such generosity.
Trump’s statement challenges the assertion by the New York Times that the tax returns “portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes,” and that the president “has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life.”
The president told reporters at a briefing on Sunday that he’s unable to release his financial records because he is being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
“It’s under audit. They’ve been under audit for a long time,” he said. “The IRS does not treat me well.”
Trump added, “When they’re not [under audit], I would be proud to show [them].”
The president also said he paid a considerable amount of taxes over the years. “First of all, I paid a lot,” he said. “I paid a lot of state income taxes too. New York State charges a lot.”
Over the past four years, news outlets and various Democratic officials at the state and Congressional level have tried to obtain Trump’s tax returns.
From The Epoch Times