Trump says claim his businesses lost more than $1bn ‘highly inaccurate’

Trump says claim his businesses lost more than $1bn ‘highly inaccurate’

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Donald Trump, Business, IRS, Federal Tax, Politics

Donald Trump has described a New York Times report claiming his businesses lost more than $1bn between 1985 and 1994 as “highly inaccurate”.

The US president said the reported losses were “non-monetary”, and that real estate developers like him during that period were entitled to take “massive write-offs and depreciation” for tax purposes.

The Times reported on Tuesday that it had acquired printouts from Mr Trump’s official IRS tax transcripts, including figures from his federal tax form.

The newspaper said Mr Trump reported business losses of $46.1m in 1985, and a total of $1.17bn in losses for the 10-year period.

After comparing Mr Trump’s information with that of other “high-income earners”, the Times concluded that Mr Trump “appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer”.

Because of his business losses, the newspaper reported, Mr Trump did not pay income taxes for eight of the 10 years.

Mr Trump tweeted on Wednesday that developers during that period were “entitled to massive write-offs and depreciation” that would “show losses and tax losses in almost all cases”.

He tweeted that much of those losses were “non-monetary”.

“You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes” and “renegotiate with banks”, Mr Trump tweeted.

He called this “sport”.

Mr Trump said the Times story was based on “very old information” and a “highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!”

The House Ways and Means Committee has asked the IRS to provide Mr Trump’s personal and business returns for 2013 through to 2018.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to do so on Monday, saying the panel’s request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose”.

Mr Mnuchin oversees the IRS.

His move, which had been expected, is likely to set a legal battle into motion.

The chief options available to Democrats are to subpoena the IRS for the returns or to file a lawsuit.

Mr Trump is the first president since Watergate to decline to make his tax returns public.

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