The White House today released the 2005 tax return documents of US President Donald Trump.
A news corporation revealed on Twitter that it was in possession of the returns and would display them in public. But the White House pre-empted the release by sending its own two-page version online.
Those records show in 2005 Mr Trump earned $US150 million and paid $US38 million in federal taxes at a 25% tax rate. Before these records were released, the latest returns date to 1995 and show Mr Trump posting a $US916 million loss.
Mr Trump also appears to have written off $US100 million in business losses.
The White House press statement was unequivocal in condemning the looming release of the information, saying the journalist was so “desperate for ratings” the corporation was even “willing to violate the law” to publish the records.
“Before being elected president, Mr Trump was one of the most successful businessmen in the world with a responsibility to his company, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required," the statement says.
"That being said, Mr Trump paid $US38 million even after taking into account large-scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $US150 million, as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and this illegally published return proves just that."
It goes on to say the “dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the president will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans.”
Mr Trump had promised to release his tax returns when an audit was completed. However, the IRS has not confirmed whether the president’s taxes are under audit. Previous heads of state have released their tax returns before entering office.
“I have very big returns, as you know, and I have everything all approved and very beautiful, and we’ll be working that over in the next period of time,” Mr Trump said in a January 2016 interview.
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