Trump Tax Records Reveal $1 Billion In Business Losses Over a Decade—Which Enabled Him to Avoid Eight Years of Income Tax: Report

Newly obtained tax documents reveal President Donald Trump's businesses lost more than $1 billion between 1985 and 1994, an amount so large that he was able to avoid paying income tax for eight of those years, according to The New York Times.

Printouts from Trump's official IRS tax transcripts, obtained by the Times, show that the then-businessman reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses—including casinos, hotels and apartment buildings—in 1985. In the following nine years, he lost even more. Within that decade, Trump businesses' losses totaled roughly $1.17 billion.

Trump's business reported a loss of over $250 million in 1990 and again in 1991, a figure more than twice the amount for any other high-income earner, according to IRS information from an annual sampling of such earners.

Trump's negative gross income across that decade was so high it enabled him to avoid paying income tax for eight of those years.

"The president got massive depreciation and tax shelter because of large-scale construction and subsidized developments," a senior official said in a statement earlier this year, according to the Times. "That is why the president has always scoffed at the tax system and said you need to change the tax laws. You can make a large income and not have to pay large amount of taxes."

The tax information shows Trump businesses reported a loss of $68.7 million in 1986, $42.2 million in 1987, $30.4 million in 1988, nearly $182 million in 1989 and over $500 million between 1990 and 1991, according to the Times.

The documents also revealed that Trump's annual income during that time fluctuated annually.

The Times noted that while it wasn't able to obtain Trump's tax returns, reporters were able to gather information from someone who had legal access to it and cross-referenced the data with IRS information on the country's top earners and other public documents.

Trump lawyer Charles Harder told the newspaper on Saturday that the tax information it compiled was "demonstrably false." The statements "about the president's tax returns and business from 30 years ago are highly inaccurate," he added, without saying which figures in particular were in his opinion erroneous.

Asked for comment on Tuesday, Harder said, "IRS transcripts, particularly before the days of electronic filing, are notoriously inaccurate" and "would not be able to provide a reasonable picture of any taxpayer's return."

For decades, Trump, a former businessman before he took office in 2017, has touted his successes as a wealthy business tycoon. In 1987, he told Newsweek that he was "not running for president."

"If I did...I'd win," he added. "There is no one my age who has accomplished more."

The Times report comes amid a stalemate between Democrats and Trump over the release of six years of his tax returns. By refusing to release his tax statements, Trump has defied a precedent set by his predecessors, dating back to Richard Nixon, with the exception of Gerald Ford, who released a summary of his returns.

US President Donald Trump speaks during an event to present US golfer Tiger Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 6, 2019. Newly obtained Trump tax returns show that the president's businesses lost more than $1 billion between 1985 to 1994, according to the New York Times. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images