It’s safe to say that The New York Times article published Saturday claiming to reveal documents from Trump’s tax return in the 90s has cause a media frenzy. The story is not only based on documents from an unknown sender, but it also violates law.
Specifically, the federal law says it’s unlawful for “any person” to publish unauthorized tax forms:
It shall be unlawful for any person to whom any return or return information (as defined in section 6103(b)) is disclosed in a manner unauthorized by this title thereafter willfully to print or publish in any manner not provided by law any such return or return information. Any violation of this paragraph shall be a felony punishable by a fine in any amount not exceeding $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.
According to the NYT’s article Trump declared a $916 million loss in 1995 to wipe out paying any federal taxes that year and income taxes for many years after.
“Dean Baquet wasn’t bluffing. The New York Times executive editor said during a visit to Harvard in September that he would risk jail to publish Donald Trump’s tax returns. He made good on his word Saturday night when the Times published Trump tax documents from 1995, which show the Republican presidential nominee claimed losses of $916 million that year — enough to avoid paying federal income taxes for as many as 18 years afterward,” wrote Callum Borcher for The Washington Post.
Even if these documents are in fact real, any businessman in his position would have taken advantage of the tax laws. In fact, if he had a board of directors, he would have been fired for not doing so.
Trump’s campaign was quick to state that the tax documents were illegally obtained and printed and then defended the Republican candidate’s knowledge of tax law.
“The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that the New York Times, like establishment media in general, is an extension of the Clinton Campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interests. What is happening now with the FBI and DOJ on Hillary Clinton’s emails and illegal server, including her many lies and her lies to Congress are worse than what took place in the administration of Richard Nixon – and far more illegal,” wrote the campaign.
“Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required. That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes. Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President and he is the only one that knows how to fix it.”
Trump later tweeted similar sentiments: “I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them. #failing @nytimes.”
Not only did the NYT’s admit they had no clue who sent the three-page document to Susanne Craig, a NYT financial editor, but the Times has done exactly what they claim the alleged tax documents from Trump show.
“… for tax year 2014, The New York Times paid no taxes and got an income tax refund of $3.5 million even though they had a pre-tax profit of $29.9 million in 2014. In other words, their post-tax profit was higher than their pre-tax profit. The explanation in their 2014 annual report is, “The effective tax rate for 2014 was favorably affected by approximately $21.1 million for the reversal of reserves for uncertain tax positions due to the lapse of applicable statutes of limitations.” If you don’t think it took fancy accountants and tax lawyers to make that happen, read the statement again,” wrote Forbes.
Ultimately, the Times article was published in attempt to reinforce Hillary’s comments throughout the campaign that “Trump paid no taxes.” However, as the Trump campaign statement says this is most definitely not the case.
“Incidentally, when the fact that the most burdensome tax of all exempts half the population, Democrats always insist that the exempt half pays Social Security and sales taxes, where applicable. Well, Trump pays gigantic tax bills for his many high-end properties. He pays no taxes” is a lie,” wrote Thomas Lifson for American Thinker. “But the Times, which likes to tout its readership to advertisers as smart and high-income, wrote a major story that does not stand up to scrutiny and is designed to appeal to the kind of readers it says it doesn’t have.”
Editor’s note: What strikes me most, is the NYTimes speculated Trump has not paid taxes for all this time. Other news outlets are taking this as fact. The real fact is the NY Times has no idea of the taxes Trump paid in any year except 1995. The rest is fairy tale.