The New York Times released yet another “bombshell” story about President Donald Trump’s federal income taxes. The first story from back in 2016 alleges that the President paid little to no federal income taxes for 15 of the past 20 years. The new story echoes the same sentiment and just adds some updated content. One piece of the “updated” content is the clickbait worth line about Trump only paying $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017.
Simply reading the article under the clickbait introduction debunks the $750 number. Trump actually paid $1 million and $4.2 million in personal federal income tax in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The President paid the aforementioned dollar amounts in the form of quarterly payments, or “estimated taxes.” These payments are made throughout the year before the actual tax deadline of April 15th. For example, if Trump made quarterly payments in 2016, he would have filed before April 15th, 2017 to pay 2016’s taxes. But since he already made quarterly payments, his tax liability would be small if he had any liability at all.
The $750 dollar number refers to what he paid each year on top of the $1 million and $4.2 million that Trump already paid in taxes for 2016 and 2017. The New York Times also says that Trump paid zero in taxes (personal federal income taxes) in 10 of the past 15 years. NYT then goes on to say that he paid nearly $25 million in personal federal income taxes from the years 2010 to 2017. While there may be years he paid zero in taxes, there is surely a legitimate reason. And he obviously does pay plenty of money in taxes in other years aside from years where he doesn’t. $24 million on a 1040 form over 17 years is no small sum.
Trump’s Taxes Show Chronic Losses and Years of Income Tax Avoidance – The New York Times
18 Revelations From a Trove of Trump Tax Records – The New York Times
New York Times: We Have Trump’s Tax Returns
What are the sources of revenue for the federal government? | Tax Policy Center