In 2020, during his last year in office, Donald Trump did not pay any income taxes according to his tax returns which were released to a congressional committee and made public recently.
According to the tax returns, that year Trump made $11 million in interest from investments and an additional $400,000 salary, however, he still did not have to pay any income taxes as he reported $16 million in losses from his real estate business. This would mean that the former President lost $5 million within that year.
As a result, he would not have had any taxable income, and as such he paid $0 in income tax.
The tax returns obtained by the House Ways and Means Committee show that this is a frequent pattern where high investment returns are offset through high losses. Trump’s tax returns were released by the committee after they were obtained as part of an investigation into the IRS’s presidential audit system.
Similarly in 2019 Trump made $20 million in income from investments, but lost $16 million in real estate losses. This pattern of high losses repeats in 2018, when he accounts for $11 million in business losses, in 2017 with $16 million in losses, and in 2015 when his losses were around $76 million.
All of these losses had also been reported as part of a larger loss of more than $105 million which was reported by the Joint Committee on Taxation in 2015. This was also part of an even larger loss of $700 million which dates back to 2009. Through spacing out his losses Trump has been able to greatly reduce his taxes resulting in very low bills from the IRS.