Trump's mega loss allows him to legally avoid taxes: Report
DONALD Trump declared a US$916 million (S$1.2 billion at yesterday's exchange rate) loss on his 1995 income tax return, allowing him to legally avoid paying taxes for years, The New York Times reported late on Saturday.
The sensitive issue is important because he has refused to release his tax records, as United States presidential candidates customarily do in the interest of transparency.
Mr Trump's previously undisclosed 1995 tax records show "the extraordinary tax benefits" that he "derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan", The Times reported.
While Mr Trump's taxable income in the following years is unknown, "a US$916 million loss in 1995 would have been large enough to wipe out more than US$50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years", the report noted.
The Trump campaign issued a statement that did not address the US$916 million loss.
"Mr Trump is 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 said.
"That being said, Mr Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real-estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes," it added, giving no specifics.
The campaign attacked The Times as "an extension of the Clinton Campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interests".