Trump paid little to no federal income taxes over several years as he piled up losses and debt, NYT reports

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Cecil Airport in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S., September 24, 2020.

Tom Brenner | Reuters

President Donald Trump’s businesses have hemorrhaged hundreds of millions of dollars over the last two decades, allowing him to minimize his federal income tax bill to $0 or nearly $0 for many of the years in that period, according to a bombshell report published on Sunday by The New York Times.  

Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and another $750 the following year, the newspaper reported, and none at all in 10 of the previous 15 years. He is personally responsible for more than $420 million in debt, most of which is coming due within the next four years, according to the Times. 

The report, which comes just two days before Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden meet for the first general election debate of the 2020 contest, appears to be based on the most complete collection of the president’s recent tax returns assembled to date.

The Times said that the story is the first of several, with more to be published in the coming weeks. Two of the reporters who authored the story won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for an investigation of the president’s finances that year based on earlier tax records. 

Trump called the story “fake news” at a White House news conference that took place shortly after the story was published. 

Trump’s reelection campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The White House referred CNBC to Trump’s private lawyers. An attorney who has represented the president did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

An attorney for the Trump Organization, Alan Garten, said in a statement to the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts” the newspaper reported appeared to be inaccurate. 

“Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015,” Garten said. 

This is breaking news. Check back for updates. 

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