-- Billionaire Warren Buffett has hit back at Donald Trump over comments that the Republican nominee made during the debate on Sunday night, telling the candidate to offer “some tax facts” and blasting him for not releasing his tax returns.
“I have been audited by the IRS multiple times and am currently being audited,” Buffett said in a one-page document sent to the press. “I have no problem in releasing my tax information while under audit. Neither would Mr. Trump — at least he would have no legal problem.”
Trump has broken with long-held tradition by not releasing his tax returns during the campaign. In refusing, he has insisted that he cannot do so because he is under a “routine audit.”
Experts have roundly discredited that excuse, saying there are no legal hurdles preventing individuals under audit from releasing their returns. Most recently, he said he would release his tax returns if his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, released her deleted emails.
Last month The New York Times published what appear to be a few pages from Trump’s 1995 returns, which show a $916 million loss that suggests he could have avoided paying taxes for 18 years through the net operating loss provision.
Asked during the highly contentious debate whether he used that loss to avoid paying personal federal income taxes, Trump responded, “Of course I do. Of course I do. And so do all of her donors or most of her donors.”
He also said, “I pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. Many of her friends took bigger deductions. Warren Buffett took a massive deduction.”
His remarks clearly caught the attention of Buffett, who endorsed Clinton in early August.
In his statement Buffett said that he has paid taxes every year since 1944, when he was 13 years old, adding, “Being a slow starter, I owed only $7 in tax that year.”
“I have copies of all 72 of my returns, and none uses a carry forward,” he said, referring to the provision under which losses in one year may be used to offset income in other years and reduce or even eliminate tax liability.
Buffett, who is often called the Oracle of Omaha, detailed his charitable contributions, some of which he used to take deductions from his tax bill.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.