On March 14, MSNBC released a two-page sec­tion of Pres­i­dent Trump’s tax return from 2005. The released tax return (which was con­demned but con­firmed by the White House) shows that Mr. Trump report­ed income of $150 mil­lion and paid $38 mil­lion in fed­er­al income tax­es (an effec­tive tax rate of 25 per­cent). Pres­i­dent Trump declared more than $100 mil­lion in busi­ness loss­es which led him to save mil­lions of dol­lars in fed­er­al tax­es.

Dur­ing the cam­paign, Trump was high­ly crit­i­cized for refus­ing to release his tax returns to the pub­lic — a tra­di­tion for pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates. Indeed, crit­ics claimed that his tax returns could unveil poten­tial impro­pri­eties with­in his busi­ness prac­tices, as well as reveal whether he has done busi­ness with Russ­ian com­pa­nies and banks. In his defense, Trump claimed he was under an ongo­ing audit by the IRS, which pro­hib­it­ed him from releas­ing his tax returns (although com­men­ta­tors have said that an audit would not legal­ly pre­clude him from releas­ing them).

In a recent state­ment, the White House explained that the busi­ness loss­es were a “large scale depre­ci­a­tion for con­struc­tion.” The White House also said, “Before being elect­ed, Mr. Trump was one of the most suc­cess­ful busi­ness­men in the world, with a respon­si­bil­i­ty to his com­pa­ny, his fam­i­ly and his employ­ees to pay no more tax than legal­ly required” and that he paid “tens of mil­lions of dol­lars in oth­er tax­es, such as sales and excise tax­es and employ­ment tax­es, and this ille­gal­ly pub­lished return proves just that.”

Trump’s 2005 tax return does not indi­cate any ties with Rus­sia, nor does it shed light on any busi­ness activ­i­ties that were not pre­vi­ous­ly known. How­ev­er, it high­lights that Trump paid his tax under the alter­na­tive min­i­mum tax, which Mr. Trump wants to abol­ish.

The alter­na­tive min­i­mum tax (A.M.T.) was cre­at­ed to pre­vent wealthy Amer­i­cans from pay­ing no income tax by tak­ing advan­tage of deduc­tions and loop­holes. Indeed, with the A.M.T., those with high incomes have to cal­cu­late their tax­es twice: once with all their deduc­tions and once with­out many of them. The tax­pay­er must then pay the high­er of the two fig­ures. As a mat­ter of fact, with­out the A.M.T., Trump would only have paid $5.3 mil­lion fed­er­al income tax­es in place of the $31 mil­lion he paid on $153 mil­lion in income in 2005. Accord­ing to David Cay John­ston, the jour­nal­ist who received the tax return by mail and Pulitzer lau­re­ate, “If we didn’t have the alter­na­tive min­i­mum tax, he would have paid tax­es at a low­er rate than the poor who make less than $33,000 a year.”

Pres­i­dent Trump con­demned MSNBC’s release of his 2005 tax return, call­ing it “fake news” and crit­i­ciz­ing the media on his Twit­ter page. Putting aside the debate of whether the tax return is fake, the par­tial dis­clo­sure of Trump’s tax return will fur­ther pres­sure the White House to final­ly pub­lish the President’s tax return in full.

Trump’s 2005 Tax Return Released Why Pres­i­dent Trump Wants to Abol­ish the A.M.T. Read More on The Net­work

Source: The Net­work

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