Trump tax records reveal "he could have paid no federal income tax for decades"

The New York Times obtained Donald Trump's 1995 tax records. These records show that Trump declared a $916 million loss that year, and because the sum was so substantial, it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying federal income tax for 18 years.

No word on who leaked them or why.

The three documents arrived by mail at The Times with a postmark indicating they had been sent from New York City. The return address claimed the envelope had been sent from Trump Tower.

"He has a vast benefit from his destruction" in the early 1990s, said one of the tax experts hired by the Times to analyze the documents. "Do you realize you can create $916 million in income without paying a nickel in taxes?"

The 1995 tax records have never before been disclosed. They "reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, 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 reports.

Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump's 1995 records said that tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.

Although Mr. Trump's taxable income in subsequent years is as yet unknown, a $916 million loss in 1995 would have been large enough to wipe out more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years.

The $916 million loss certainly could have eliminated any federal income taxes Mr. Trump otherwise would have owed on the $50,000 to $100,000 he was paid for each episode of "The Apprentice," or the roughly $45 million he was paid between 1995 and 2009 when he was chairman or chief executive of the publicly traded company he created to assume ownership of his troubled Atlantic City casinos. Ordinary investors in the new company, meanwhile, saw the value of their shares plunge to 17 cents from $35.50, while scores of contractors went unpaid for work on Mr. Trump's casinos and casino bondholders received pennies on the dollar.

Read the full New York Times report here:
"Trump Tax Records Obtained by The Times Reveal He Could Have Avoided Paying Taxes for Nearly Two Decades."

Last Monday at the first presidential debate, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton suggested Mr. Trump might be choosing not to release his tax returns so voters wouldn't that "he's paid nothing in federal taxes," When she added that Trump once revealed to casino regulators he paid no federal income taxes in the late '70s, Trump said, "That makes me smart."

The campaign didn't confirm or deny any of the facts, as usual, but countered with attacks about Clinton. Grab your popcorn, folks, the circus is just getting started and there are still 5 weeks to go.