Although GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has not released his tax returns, citing a "routine audit," court cases and other litigation procedures have revealed three years of tax returns, each showing the Republican nominee paid $0 in federal income tax.
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A report from the New York Times released Saturday night adds another year that shows Trump did not pay federal income taxes in 1995. The report from the Times is largely based on documents the newspaper obtained in which the real estate mogul claimed about $916 million in losses "that would have been large enough to wipe out more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years," the Times reported.
Before Saturday night's report, the three other years of tax returns for Trump that had been publicly accessible included two returns from 1978 and 1979 tied to business dealings he had with the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, and another return in 1984 that Trump disclosed in two separate legal disputes in New York State courts in the early 1990s.
Trump incurred no tax liability in 1978 and 1979, New Jersey gambling regulators found, when they looked into his tax returns and personal finances in connection with the Trump Plaza Corporation's 1981 application for a casino license. Trump claimed negative income in both those years: losses of $406,379 in 1978 and of $3,443,560 in 1979. In 1975, 1976, and 1977, he claimed $76,210, $24,594, and $118,530 in income, respectively, paying $18,714, $10,832, and $42,386 in federal taxes, according to the document, the Report to the Casino Control Commission.
Trump's 1984 federal income tax return was used in two court cases brought by Trump in New York. In the first case, Trump's legal team included his 1984 return that included a Schedule C, the form used by sole proprietors, a decision tied to one of two lawsuits filed by Trump in New York State shows, according to the Daily Beast. There was no income listed on that form but what was included was a deduction of $626,264 as expenses.
According to the Daily Beast, his New York City tax return also showed no income, but listed slightly less in expenses: $619,227. The first case was heard by a New York City court in 1992; the second case was heard by the New York State Division of Tax Appeals in 1994.
As the New York Times reported, Trump's 1995 tax returns showed a major loss connected to his failed management of three Atlantic City casinos, his failed venture to open an airline, and his purchase of the famed Plaza Hotel.
As the Times wrote, "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."
On Sunday, Trump's lead surrogates defended their party’s nominee.
"He's a genius at how to take advantage of legal remedies that can help your company survive and grow. I want a man who's a genius at figuring out how to take this country, that's moving in the wrong direction," former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told ABC News' Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week."
On "Fox News Sunday," another surrogate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, told host Chris Wallace that the Times' tax investigation was "a very, very, good story for Donald Trump."
"What it shows is what an absolute mess the federal tax code is and that's why Donald Trump is the person best positioned to fix it," Christie told Fox News' Chris Wallace. "There's no one who has shown more genius in their way to maneuver around the tax code and rightfully use the laws to do that."