US President Donald Trump arrives at an event in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington May 7, 2019. It goes with the bold headline "I was a sex cult slave"-which, for the record, has nothing to do with Trump's financial history-and doesn't even give the tax story a secondary mention".
In October 2018, the New York Times released a blockbuster report on how Donald Trump manipulated tax loopholes in the 1990s to borrow at least $413 million in today's dollars from his father Fred Trump's real estate empire.
The report notes that his businesses had lost nearly $1.2 billion between 1985 and 1994, based on IRS transcripts.
The battle in Congress is over Trump's more recent returns, which he has refused to release in a break with the practice of all recent presidents.
Until now, Trump's early career in real estate was believed to have reached a peak in the late 1980s, when Trump wrote the "The Art of the Deal" - and then collapsed into loss and debt in 1990 and 1991. Under the tax code, business owners can use their losses to keep from paying taxes on future income.
The newspaper said Trump reported business losses of $US46.1 million in 1985, and a total of $US1.17 billion in losses for the 10-year period.
In Napolitano's opinion, the New York Times is trying to undermine the support of Trump's base, which isn't accustomed to the enormous numbers. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin formally denied a request from the House Ways and Means Committee for Trump's last six years of tax returns, a period not covered by the documents reported by The Times on Tuesday.
To reiterate, the Times report suggests Trump was only able to reduce his tax burden because his businesses were hemorrhaging money every single year for at least ten years, and he could count these "net losses" against his income. Sometimes considered 'tax shelter, ' ...
Because most of his businesses were not created as partnerships, Trump was on the hook for federal income taxes.
In an additional statement to the Times he said "I.R.S. transcripts, particularly before the days of electronic filing, are notoriously inaccurate" and "would not be able to provide a reasonable picture of any taxpayer's return", the paper reported.