Donald Trump may have avoided paying federal income taxes for 18 years, according to tax records obtained by The New York Times and published on Saturday night.
The documents indicated that Trump declared a $916 million loss in 1995, providing him with a deduction so large it could have eliminated his obligation to legally pay annual federal taxes by up to $50 million for nearly two decades, tax experts told The Times.
Trump has refused calls to release his tax returns, a decades-old tradition every Republican nominee since Richard Nixon has followed.
At Monday night’s presidential debate, Clinton suggested Trump was perhaps refusing to publicly disclose his tax documents because he had not paid federal taxes. “That makes me smart,” Trump replied, raising eyebrows across the political world.
The Times said it had obtained the documents from an anonymous source who mailed the documents to its offices. The return address on the envelope was Trump Tower in New York City.
A lawyer for Trump, Marc E. Kasowitz, threatened The Times with “prompt initiation of appropriate legal action” if it published the documents.
The documents were published by The Times as Trump told a Pennsylvania crowd to “follow the money,” his latest line of attack against Hillary Clinton, in reference to his allegations she was engaged in a pay-to-play scandal while secretary of state.
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