Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, after years of reporting heavy losses from his business enterprises to offset hundreds of millions of dollars in income, the New York Times reported on Sunday, citing tax-return data.
In a report that Trump dismissed as “fake news,” the Times said the Republican president also paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the previous 15 years through 2017, despite receiving $427.4 million through 2018.
The disclosure of previously private tax information came little more than a month before the Nov. 3 election between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.
Democrats were quick to seize on the report to paint Trump as a tax dodger and raise questions about his carefully groomed image as a savvy businessman.
In a statement to the Times, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, said Trump had paid millions of dollars in personal taxes over the last decade, without weighing in on the specific finding of minimal income taxes.
Trump is currently in a legal battle with New York City prosecutors and congressional Democrats who are seeking to obtain his returns.
The Times reported that Trump was able to minimize his tax bill by reporting heavy losses across his business empire. It said he claimed $47.4 million in losses in 2018, despite saying he had an income of at least $434.9 million in a financial disclosure that year.
The Times also reported that Trump was currently embroiled in a decade-long Internal Revenue Service audit over a $72.9 million tax refund he claimed after declaring large losses. If the IRS rules against him in that audit, he could have to pay over $100 million, according to the newspaper.