#LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes: Internet reacts to Trump’s ‘zero tax’ return report
Donald Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax return, allowing him to avoid paying taxes for up to 18 years, according to report in the New York Times.
The returns, which were sent to the newspaper anonymously, indicate that the billionaire businessman paid no income taxes that year due to his then floundering business empire, mainly hotels and casinos, reporting the huge loss to US tax authorities.
Trump’s refusal to make his tax returns public — breaking with tradition in presidential contests — has emerged as a central issue in the campaign. During their first debate, Clinton suggested her rival was refusing to release his tax history because it would expose him as not having paid taxes for years. Trump’s reply was that not paying taxes showed how he was “smart”.
The newspaper reported that Trump received the large tax benefits from financial deals that went bad in the early 1990s.
#LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes the "hair" on his head now was still a lively tom cat named Mr Wiggles.— Seamus Stackpoole (@MrStackpoole) October 2, 2016
A lawyer acting for Trump claimed it was illegal to publish the tax return as Trump has not authorized its release.
There are people voting in this election born the same year as the #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) October 2, 2016
Those with faux outrage about the #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes should be more upset at the politicians who allowed him to take advantage.— Liberals Are Sheep (@MikeRoySF) October 2, 2016
The revelations prompted a hashtag to depict just how long it’s been since Trump has paid any income tax, resulting in some amusing and witty posts.
#LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes was more recent than the last time Hillary told the truth.— Mr Cynical (@waamutoo) October 2, 2016
#LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes Ross and Rachel hadn't even gone ON A BREAK yet.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) October 2, 2016
Trump has made no secret of the fact that he takes advantage of tax codes, but the 1995 return has left many worried about the rest of his tax record, and how he might manage the federal budget should he make it to the White House.
He also claimed a $15.8 million loss in real estate due to a loophole in commercial real estate law.
#LasttimeTrumpPaidTaxes, Macauley Culkin was a guest at the Plaza.— Betsey Schuyler (@BetseySHamilton) October 2, 2016
Trump’s campaign responded to the report, saying 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.
I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them. #failing@nytimes— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2016
“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,” the statement added.
#LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes The "alt-right" was still known as the KKK— limon (@limonpoker) October 2, 2016
Trump’s lawyer, Marc E Kasowitz, emailed the Times claiming it was illegal to publish the tax return as Trump has not authorized its release, and also threatened “prompt initiation of appropriate legal action.”
The campaign also accused the NYT of operating as an extension of the presidential campaign of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
I'm no fan of Trump, but IF he LEGALLY avoided paying taxes, he can't be faulted. The problem is the tax laws. #LastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes— John Zimmer (@ZimmerJohn) October 2, 2016
The Clinton campaign described the report as a “bombshell” and called on Trump to release his full tax return record.