U.S. President Donald Trump reported more than $150 million in income in 2005 and paid $36 million in personal income tax, a leaked tax form revealed on Tuesday. The bulk of the taxes were the result of a tax the president is seeking to eliminate.
Form 1040 from Trump’s 2005 tax returns show that the president and his wife paid $5.3 million in regular federal income tax and $31 million in “alternative minimum tax” (AMT) over an income of $150 million – an effective tax rate of 24%.
The tax form was first obtained by award-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, who said it turned up in his mailbox from an unknown source. Johnston, of the DCReport website, provided the documents to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
The White House, having been made aware of the upcoming release, disclosed some of the information on its own. It said Trump paid $38 million in personal federal taxes in 2005, a figure that includes his self-employment tax, which is a payroll tax.
“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,” the White House said. “The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the President will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans.”
Among other changes, the president has in the past called for the elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax. Eliminating this tax would have cut Trump’s federal taxes in 2005 by more than 80 percent
“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,” the statement from the White House added, noting that the documents prove the president had paid his taxes.
In October 2016, the New York Times obtained and published three pages of Trump’s 1995 returns, which showed a $916 million tax deduction that could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years. Tuesday’s disclosure shows that Trump did pay income taxes, though he wrote off $103 million in business losses that saved him tens of millions of dollars in taxes.
While Form 1040 provides only a limited glimpse, Trump’s tax returns have been long sought after. Trump is the first major party candidate since 1976 to not have released his tax returns to the public, even though 74 percent of Americans believe he should release his tax returns, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll.
Political opponents have argued that Trump’s full tax returns would reveal any connection to Russia and confirm the president’s claims about giving to charities. Trump, who at first promised to release his tax returns, later refused to do so, claiming that “nobody cares about my tax returns”.
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