Here's The ACTUAL Truth About The NY Times 'Bombshell' Tax Story
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Did you know that President Donald Trump a) doesn’t have any financial ties to Russia; and b) used existing tax law to pay as little income tax as possible?
Those are the two primary conclusions Americans should take from the latest pre-election surprise ‘bombshell’ by The New York Times, which the paper calls “tax avoidance” – as though he’s done something wrong. Something nefarious. Maybe even something illegal.
Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.
He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.
Yes, it appears as though someone (who could very well be in a lot of trouble if they are ever discovered) has finally leaked the president’s tax returns, apparently. And in a lengthy story, all the Times could really come up with is that Trump a) doesn’t have any financial ties to Russia; and b) used existing tax law to pay as little income tax as possible.
The story makes the usual inferences, stopping short of making any outright allegations of illegal behavior – because, of course, there is none or, at least, none that the records the paper ‘obtained’ show (because that would have led the piece).
In fact, at one point in the story, the reporters actually disclose that Trump did pay millions in taxes, though he received tax credits for those payments – which were then applied to future years (not refunded):
Each time, he requested an extension to file his 1040; and each time, he made the required payment to the I.R.S. for income taxes he might owe — $1 million for 2016 and $4.2 million for 2017. But virtually all of that liability was washed away when he eventually filed, and most of the payments were rolled forward to cover potential taxes in future years.
To cancel out the tax bills, Mr. Trump made use of $9.7 million in business investment credits, at least some of which related to his renovation of the Old Post Office hotel, which qualified for a historic-preservation tax break. Although he had more than enough credits to owe no taxes at all, his accountants appear to have carved out an allowance for a small tax liability for both 2016 and 2017.
When they got to line 56, the one for income taxes due, the amount was the same each year: $750.
"Anyone who has ever operated a business knows that offsetting income is one of the primary reasons to be self-employed," the folks over at Conservative Treehouse noted. "Additionally, the Times completely skips over the tens-of-millions in payroll taxes paid by the Trump organization and tens-of-millions in property and sales taxes paid by all of the various Trump properties.
"In the commercial real estate market it is common sense to offset income tax liabilities with a host of valid annual expenses, long-term capital depreciation and mortgage interest payments," they add.
"With over 500 individual business entities within the Trump organization the ability to offset income in one asset with expenses in another is simply good accounting."
And let's not forget:
-- Trump isn't taking a dime's worth of pay from the government as president, so he is working for all of us for free;
-- The last time the 'gotcha' media tried this with Trump and his taxes was in March 2017 shortly after the president was inaugurated. David Cay Johnston, reporter, 'obtained' Trump's 2005 return and shared it on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC [clown] show; Trump paid $38 million that year on income of $150 million, for a 25-percent tax rate.
It's difficult to understand what motivates a major newspaper to spend tens of thousands of dollars or more violating a man's privacy to expose his tax record when, in the end, all the story shows is that Trump a) doesn’t have any financial ties to Russia; and b) used existing tax law to pay as little income tax as possible.