Trump's '95 Tax Returns Show He Could Have Avoided Paying Taxes for Years | NBC Bay Area
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Trump's '95 Tax Returns Show He Could Have Avoided Paying Taxes for Years

The significant losses may mean Trump did not pay taxes for as many as 18 years



    Getty Images
    In this file photo, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a rally on September 29, 2016 in Bedford, New Hampshire.

    Donald Trump's business losses in 1995 were so large that they could have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for as many as 18 years, according to records obtained by The New York Times.

    In a story published online late Saturday, the Times said it anonymously received the first pages of Trump's 1995 state income tax filings in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The filings show a net loss of $915,729,293 in federal taxable income for the year. 

    That Trump was losing money during the early to mid-1990s — a period marked by bankruptcies and poor business decisions — was already well established. But the records obtained by the Times show losses of such a magnitude that they potentially allowed Trump to avoid paying taxes for years, possibly until the end of the last decade.

    Trump's campaign released a statement on Saturday lashing out at the Times for publishing the records and accused the newspaper of working to benefit the Republican nominee's presidential rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    Trump Will Honor Election Results 'If I Win'

    [NATL] Trump Will Honor Presidential Election Results 'If I Win'
    Speaking at a rally in Ohio on Oct. 20, 2016, Donald Trump said that he would accept the presidential election results if they were in his favor. "I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all the people of the United Staes that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election -- if I win,” Donald Trump said, emphasizing the last three words by pointing into the crowd. The rally was held the day following the final debate, during which the issue of whether he would accept the election results came up. At the debate, he said he would have to wait and see what the results were. (Published Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016)

    "The New York Times, like establishment media in general, is an extension of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interests," the campaign said, calling Trump "a highly skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required."

    The statement added that Trump had paid "hundreds of millions" of dollars in other kinds of taxes over the years.

    Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, used the Times story to needle Trump about not releasing his tax returns and contending during his first debate with Clinton that not paying federal income taxes would show he was "smart."

    Mook said in a statement that Trump apparently avoided paying taxes for two decades "while tens of millions of working families paid theirs. He calls that 'smart.'" Mook added: "Now that the gig is up, why doesn't he go ahead and release his returns to show us all how 'smart' he really is?" 

    Trump, Clinton Trade Insults at Dinner

    [NATL-NY] Trump, Clinton Trade Insults at Dinner
    Bitter presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had one more face-to-face showdown before Election Day. They tried to make it funny but plenty of the jokes bombed, and some even earned scattered boos. Watch each of the candidates' roasts in their entirety here. (Published Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016)

    Since 1976, every major party presidential nominee has released tax returns. Clinton has publicly released nearly 40 years' worth, and Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has released 10 years of his tax returns.

    But after initially saying that he would make his returns public during the course of his campaign, Trump switched course, citing what he said were years of ongoing IRS audits and the advice of his attorneys to keep them private as those audits proceed.

    Former IRS officials have expressed skepticism that anyone would be audited so frequently, and they and other tax experts say there's no prohibition on Trump releasing his returns even if he is.

    In its story, the Times said the three pages of documents were mailed last month to a Times reporter who had written about Trump's finances. A postmark indicated they had been sent from New York City and the return address claimed the envelope had been sent from Trump Tower, the newspaper said.

    Fact Check: Trump and Clinton's Debate Claims

    [NATL] Fact Check: Trump and Clinton's Debate Claims
    Donald Trump painted an inaccurately dark portrait of manufacturing in America while Hillary Clinton stretched credulity in boasting that her spending plans won't add to the country's debt. Associated Press writer Chris Rugaber breaks down those claims and more. (Published Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016)

    Trump's campaign did not directly address the authenticity of the excerpts from Trump's tax filings. Former Trump accountant Jack Mitnick, whose name appears as Trump's tax preparer of the filings, confirmed their authenticity, the newspaper reported. 

    On the campaign trail, Trump continued to veer from scripted economic arguments to personal attacks on Clinton.

    At a rally Saturday night, Trump questioned Clinton's loyalty to her husband, adding an explosive personal charge against his Democratic opponent to a turbulent week when he repeatedly veered off script.

    "Hillary Clinton's only loyalty is to her financial contributors and to herself," Trump told thousands gathered in Manheim, Pennsylvania. "I don't think she's even loyal to Bill if you want to know the truth ... Why should she be, right? Why should she be?"

    Clinton Speaks About Trump's Comments on Women

    [NATL] Clinton Speaks About Trump's Comments on Women
    “Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger,” Hillary Clinton said at the debate on Oct. 19, 2016. Donald Trump responded by saying, "Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody." (Published Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016)

    Trump also seized on a leaked recording from a Clinton fundraiser in February, where she expressed empathy for young voters who were siding with her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, saying that for people who don't see any economic opportunities, the idea that "you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing." The hacked recording was published Tuesday by the Washington Free Beacon. 

    Clinton called them "children of the Great Recession" and added: "And they are living in their parents' basement. They feel that they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves."

    Trump sought to turn her words into a new pitch for Sanders supporters, although Sanders himself has endorsed Clinton and denounced Trump. The businessman contended Saturday that the audio shows Clinton "demeaning and mocking Bernie Sanders and all of his supporters" and added: "To sum up, Hillary Clinton thinks Bernie Sanders supporters are hopeless and ignorant basement dwellers."