In the presidential debate Sunday in St. Louis, Donald Trump would not say how many years he was able not to pay federal income taxes.
When asked directly – “Can you say how many years you have avoided paying personal federal income taxes?” – Trump flat out refused.
“No, but I pay tax and pay federal tax, too,” Trump said, demurring on federal income taxes.
Trump’s income taxes have become a major theme of the campaign as Trump has refused to release his personal income tax returns to the public in disregard of a long tradition of transparency.
The New York Times did publish a portion of Trump’s 1995 tax return earlier this month, which showed that Trump had reported more than $900 million in operating losses that would have allowed him not to pay taxes for the following 15 years.
Trump added Sunday, “I have a write-off, a lot of it is depreciation.”
Trump was asked directly “did you use the loss to avoid paying personal federal income taxes?”
“Of course I do,” Trump said. “So do all of her donors or most of her donors. I know many of her donors. They took massive tax writeoffs.”