Donald Trump paid US$38mln in tax on more than US$150mln income in 2005 but about 82% of the total was due to a tax law that he has vowed to eradicate as president.
The White House confirmed the tax payments, which marked an effective tax rate of about 24% to 25%, after the document was leaked by MSNBC late on Tuesday.
The bill included $5.3mln in regular income tax and more than $31mln in alternative minimum tax (AMT).
In the lead up to November’s election, Trump promised to abolish the AMT, which was introduced about 50 years ago to ensure the wealthiest people pay a fairer share of tax.
The AMT was created to stop the wealthy from using deductions and loopholes. It brought in about US$28bn, or roughly 2% of individual income tax revenues in 2015, according to the Tax Policy Center.
The two pages of tax return also showed the real-estate tycoon declared US$103mln in losses, but it wasn’t explained in the leaked form. The White House said Trump had incurred “large scale depreciation for construction” in 2005.
In a statement, a Trump administration official said: “You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago.
“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.”
Trump refused calls to publish his tax returns during his election campaign, saying he was being audited by tax authorities and his lawyers advised against the move. However, critics believed he had something to hide as his refusal to release the information breaks a long-held tradition.
Story by ProactiveInvestors