A preliminary review of the thousands of pages of Donald Trump’s tax returns released shows that the former President had been using business losses in order to reduce his taxes yearly. In many cases, as a result, Trump had to pay zero income tax.
Earlier this month, one of Trump’s main enterprises was found guilty of criminal tax fraud. However, the case did not include Trump himself. Trump has so far also not been found to have made any illegal moves in the way he handled his taxes and personal accounting. However, what Trump’s tax returns bring on is some questions about the fairness of the U.S. tax code and tax regulations.
Advocates for tax reform have said that there needs to be reform to the way taxation works as it enables tax avoidance similar to the one evident on Trump’s tax returns. Frank Clemente, director of the tax advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness, said in a statement that the tax returns released make it clear that Trump had not paid “any federal income taxes [in some years].”
Clemente then proceeded to say that Trump’s tax avoidance became possible because of the “loophole-ridden tax system in need of fundamental change.”
However, Trump does not view his tax returns as evidence of the need for reform. Instead, he praised his ability to use the tax code in the most advantageous way in order to reduce his personal tax bill.
In a statement, he said that his tax returns were further proof of his success as he had used “depreciation and various other tax deductions as an incentive for creating thousands of jobs and magnificent structures and enterprises.”