Leaked tax returns: Four things we learned about US President Donald Trump's income

 
Jasper Jolly
Follow Jasper
Donald Trump Holds Press Conference On His New Book 'Crippled America'
Donald Trump has refused to disclose his tax returns (Source: Getty)

US President Donald Trump paid $38m (£31m) in taxes on income of $150m (£123m) in 2005, according to leaked copies of his tax return.

Two pages of what are purported to be Trump’s tax return were sent in the post to David Cay Johnston, founder of the website DCReport.org, and reported by MSNBC.

The White House said the returns were “illegally published” in a statement to MSNBC. It also said the returns show 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”.

Read more: Leaked documents hint at Donald Trump's tax bill

Here are four things we learned about Trump's tax affairs, in 2005 at least:

1. Alternative tax, not alternative facts

Trump's $38m in tax due included $31m under the "alternative minimum tax", which he pledged to eliminate during the election campaign. The tax was designed to counterbalance other loopholes for wealthy people.

A tax reform document on the donaldjtrump.com campaign website says: "This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II."

2. Rent is king

The bulk of Trump's income came from rent or royalties, with more than $67m reported

Trump's wage for the year (including tips, importantly) was just shy of $1m, at $998,599. This was more than three times Trump's income from dividends.

He also made almost $9.5m in taxable interest during 2005.

3. Right down to the writedowns

Trump took a writedown of $103m on his income, possibly as a result of a previous loss.

Trump had previously declared a loss of $916m, according to documents obtained by the New York Times. A large loss may be spread across multiple years, reducing tax paid.

4. Things unsaid

With only two pages of the return published there is a lot left unsaid. There is still no breakdown of the sources of the income, or the details of any charitable donations.

Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr, welcomed the release on Twitter, saying they proved "how successful" the President has been.

Trump’s taxes became a controversial issue during the election campaign, after the property developer became the first candidate for 40 years to refuse to release his tax returns, resisting significant pressure and the precedent of every Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon.

White House spokespeople have repeatedly said they will not release Trump’s tax returns, claiming he has disclosed all interests and that his placement of his assets in a blind trust, run by his sons, means he will not face any conflicts.

Read more: Theresa May has no plans to publish her tax return

Related articles