“You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes…almost all real estate developers did – and often re-negotiate with banks…” Trump said in a subsequent tweet.
Real estate developers in the 1980’s & 1990’s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases. Much was non monetary. Sometimes considered “tax shelter,” ……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2019
Trump’s losses were largely in his purchase of Eastern Airlines, which cost him $365 million but never made a profit. The airline also cost more than $7 million per month to maintain. The Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino also put him $800 million in hole.
But his losses didn’t actually affect his net worth very much because his investments were largely borrowed money from banks and private investors, who ended up taking the hit. (RELATED: Conservatives Warn Lawmakers: Tesla’s Tax Credits ‘Overwhelmingly Benefit The Rich’)
Unlike most loans, he didn’t have to pay them back, meaning that he had to list his losses for tax purposes. But he wasn’t truly out $1.17 billion after a decade. Instead, he ended up utilizing a loophole in the tax system, which meant he did not have to pay income tax for eight of the 10 years during his losses.
Trump has acknowledged that he has had business successes and failures, but the recent report on his finances is surely fueling demands for his tax returns from the past decade.
Trump remains adamant that he cannot turn over the returns because they are currently under IRS audit.
Tune in to see what The New York Times’ investigative piece has actually uncovered.