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Trump’s Income Rises and Falls

Donald Trump’s finances changed significantly during his time as the 45th President of the United States. A report from the House Ways and Means Committee says that Trump’s income went down in some years and up in others. In particular, his reported income for 2018 was his highest between 2015 and 2020. 

In 2018, Trump had a taxable income of $434.9 million, most of which came from selling properties or assets for a profit. Of this amount, he paid $1.1 million in taxes, which represented an effective tax rate of just 0.2%.

This is largely due to him taking advantage of loopholes such as deductions from business losses and depreciation costs. It should be noted, however, that this is significantly lower than other high-net-worth individuals, who tend to have an average effective tax rate of around 20%. 

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The report also shows that Trump had two consecutive years (2015 and 2016) where he reported losses totaling over $750 million after accounting for deductions such as business losses, depreciation costs, and other exemptions that can be claimed on taxes. During these two years, he paid zero federal taxes on his reported income, compared with other similarly wealthy individuals with federal tax liabilities ranging from 18% to 37%.  

Also, the audit report says that Trump seems to have used his real estate holdings to make money while he was president, since most of them made money. He could also claim losses from certain investments as tax deductions, which helped him pay little or no taxes even though he made a lot of money at times. 

Overall, Donald Trump’s financial situation changed greatly while in office. He had large gains and losses each year, depending on which assets he sold or which investments he deducted from his tax returns. While some of these maneuvers were legal according to current tax laws (and not illegal as some critics would claim), it certainly calls into question how wealthy individuals can exploit loopholes within the tax code while still technically adhering to it, which can lead to significant discrepancies between what they should pay and what they do pay in taxes annually.

Infographic: The Ups and Downs of Donald Trump's Income | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

According to the New York Times, in addition to the two office skyscrapers, Trump also owns several apartment buildings and golf courses, which have been financial drains for his business. Trump has long insisted that he runs a “very successful” business empire, but the House committee’s report reveals that this is far from the truth. While Trump’s income was consistent in 2018, it was heavily boosted by loan forgiveness and gains from asset sales. The house committee also alleges that Trump took advantage of loopholes in the tax code to reduce his taxable income while claiming numerous exemptions and benefits, such as deductions for expenses related to his businesses.

Furthermore, Trump avoided paying any federal taxes in 2017 by taking advantage of the alternative minimum tax loophole. Through this loophole, taxpayers can claim certain deductions that are not included in the standard federal calculation. According to the report, Trump spent more than $70 million on legal fees over the past decade to deal with tax-related matters. He also received an additional $21 million from foreign entities during his presidency.

The report also states that Trump used charity money meant for veterans’ organizations to cover up some of his losses instead of donating them to veterans groups as promised. In addition, he personally benefited from a private foundation he created in 1988 which allowed him to pay less than market rate for real estate properties he owned through loans and leases with charitable funds.

The House committee plans to investigate these issues further to get a clearer picture of how much money Trump has made in taxable and non-taxable forms since 2000. They seek answers about which expenses were properly deducted from taxes according to IRS regulations and which ones were artificially inflated or used inappropriately. It remains unclear whether or not these investigations will be able to uncover any substantial evidence or if they will be another effort by Democrats looking for dirt on their political rival.



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