President Donald Trump points during a campaign rally Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, in Estero, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

 

The New York Times has obtained a decade of Trump’s tax information from 1985-1994. They did not receive copies of the actual returns, only limited information about them.

Specifically, the newspaper “obtained printouts from his official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, from someone who had legal access to them.”

This information showed that Trump reported $1.17 billion in business losses over that period.

The Times reported they contacted the White House several weeks ago about this information and a senior official issued the following statement:

The president got massive depreciation and tax shelter because of large-scale construction and subsidized developments. That is why the president has always scoffed at the tax system and said you need to change the tax laws. You can make a large income and not have to pay large amount of taxes.

According to the Times:

On Saturday, after further inquiries from The Times, a lawyer for the president, Charles J. Harder, wrote that the tax information was “demonstrably false,” and that the paper’s statements “about the president’s tax returns and business from 30 years ago are highly inaccurate.” He cited no specific errors, but on Tuesday added that “I.R.S. transcripts, particularly before the days of electronic filing, are notoriously inaccurate” and “would not be able to provide a reasonable picture of any taxpayer’s return.”

A former I.R.S. official said that, “far from being considered unreliable, data used to create such transcripts had undergone quality control for decades and had been used to analyze economic trends and set national policy. In addition, I.R.S. auditors often refer to the transcripts as “handy” summaries of tax returns.”

The article listed the five top takeaways from the financial data which are printed below. Details can be viewed here.

Everyone knows this was a particularly difficult period for Trump financially. News of his financial problems appeared regularly in the New York newspapers throughout those years.

It would be interesting to find out who revealed this financial data to the New York Times.

All in all, this information is a great big nothing burger.