trump-notaxes2During the second presidential debate on Sunday night, Donald Trump clearly admitted to not paying income taxes. I know that Trump and his surrogates argue that he pays millions in taxes through property, employee taxes, sales taxes and other business related taxes. But that narrative misses a very important element that Trump and his supporters don’t want you to notice. It has to do with what money he uses to pay the business taxes. But, first, listen to how Donald Trump responded to the question about whether he pays personal income taxes.

In this 1:30 excerpt from Sunday’s second presidential debate, Donald Trump clearly admits using his losses to avoid paying personal income taxes:

As many of you know, in 1995, Donald Trump reported on several tax returns that he lost almost one billion dollars. Yes, that is billion with a “b”. Many assumed, based on those tax returns that Donald Trump had exercised a provision of the tax code that allows him to apply that massive loss over many years in order to offset any money that he has made during the following years.

The Donald Trump narrative is that Donald Trump is using the tax code to his advantage, which he is. What Donald Trump and surrogates do not tell you is that the losses, almost a billion, were surely not Donald Trump’s alone. Like most large corporations, Donald Trump uses other peoples’ monies – through stock options and via loans from banks or others. When Donald Trump reports losing almost a billion dollars he is reporting losing other peoples’ money, either all of it or a substantial part of it.

He is taking the losses and applying them to future personal earnings effectively cancelling his personal income taxes over a number of years. He is doing this not with his money, but from the losses that others suffered for his business acumen.

But it gets worse. Whether you are an employee or a business owner, almost all of you pay the IRS for personal income taxes on the money you take home. If you are a business owner, you know perfectly well that losing billions or even millions does not likely leave you in business as lenders are unlikely to lend you money in the future. Therefore, almost all of you pay some sort of personal income tax each year.

But what about the notion that Donald Trump pays taxes on employee wages, business property or other business related expenses? Those of you who own a business knows that the taxes that your business pays are funded by your customers. If your customers aren’t buying or using your goods or services, then you are not paying taxes. Business property taxes are also funded by those who pay to use your property.

In other words, Donald Trump isn’t paying income taxes on money he pockets. He is using other peoples’ money, that he lost with his business acumen, to avoid paying personal income taxes.

The other taxes he says he pays are taxes paid for by his customers.

So how does that make you feel? How will you feel next time you write a check to the IRS?

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

21 replies on “Donald Trump Admits to Not Paying Taxes”

  1. Bottom line, he’s audited annually, so it must be legal.

    I’m no tax expert nor do I have his billions. But if I did I would get the best accountants to get every deduction possible. EVERY taxpayer does the same thing. So if you take ANY deduction for any reason you are not paying taxes on everything either.

    Bottom line it’s not a crime.

  2. Martin
    As a business man are you saying you never used the tax code and got all possible deduction under the law that you are allowed? If you took any deductions can we make the leap that you did not pay your fair share of taxes?Clinton’s also used the tax code to not pay their fair share of taxes either and used the Clinton foundation to shield money from taxation that they use for their own personal use and resources.
    So how did Trump act any different than most rich in America and average citizens that use the tax code to their advantage to pay a lesser tax rates or as we have seen with many corporations and rich in America paying little to no taxes?
    If every one thinks it’s so wrong change the tax code which the rich in America and Congress,Republicans and Democrats, are not going to let that happen.

    1. Thomas, my issue is not that Donald Trump used the tax code to his benefit. It is that the details, as we know them today, do not fit the normal way of doing business and the details make no sense. As a business owner I have had losses, many of them, but they each have cost me personally. I have never filed for bankruptcy. Granted, I am a small business owner, microscopic compared to Donald Trump. Nonetheless, I cannot comprehend losing close a billion dollars and still be in business. When I incurred losses, it is my wallet that suffered. Today’s narrative, claim to fame if you will, about Donald Trump is his business success. Yet, he has at least four bankruptcies on his business record. Many have alleged that he has failed to pay them. Today, if I walk into a bank asking for a business loan I am likely to have to go through many hurdles, sign personal guarantees and provide assets valued more than the loan I am asking for. Although I offer a profitable business record of over six continuous years and an excellent credit score I am still likely to get declined by a bank. Forget investors, they aren’t interested because I can’t promise fantastic returns. Even when I had business losses, the taxes were paid from my pocket book because there were not enough clients to pay them. Although, I took the same tax benefit as Donald Trump for my losses, I still paid PERSONAL income taxes on the money that I put in my wallet. Rationally looking at it, how is it possible that an individual buys food, puts a roof over his head and pays for his kids schooling without paying PERSONAL income taxes? Think about it that way. Donald Trump lives an extravagant lifestyle but somehow manages to avoid paying PERSONAL income taxes. That is what he is saying on the video.

      Thank you for your comments,

  3. Yeah, i could just see him thinking this thru in 1995. “You know, i might run for office someday so i better not take the write-off i have coming and just pay regular taxes. ”

    Would you?

    1. Jerry,

      That is the problem with Donald Trump’s narrative – it is based on incomplete information. Donald Trump first considered running for office in 1988, as a Republican. On October 7, 1999 he formed a presidential exploratory committee. He ran in 2000, on Ross Perot’s (NAFTA sucking sound) Reform Party. As you can see he has been contemplating a presidential run since the late eighty’s. Donald Trump is masterful about creating a narrative based on misdirected or incomplete facts. As a matter of fact, I think you just gave me an idea: I think I’ll create a Trump facts website so that people can readily get past the nebulous fantasy that Donald Trump has created about himself on through to the actual facts.

      You know what the sad part is? I am conservative and many have accused me of being a Republican. Hillary Clinton is no better, but the fact is that the Republican Party put the nation’s voters in the predicament of choosing the lesser of two evils. Donald Trump is a caricature of reality.

      Thanks for your comments,

  4. Martin
    in 2008/2009 many Wall Street /Banking and financial elites lost billions and used the tax codes to write off a lot of their losses. Martin, little fish like us do not have the army of Tax lawyers and CPA’s the Elite and wealthy do to run the system to get these type of benefits from the tax code . Explain how it is any different than GE or Mobile paying little tax and writing off losses . Oh and how about those rich and elites who write off billions each year using tax shelters that generate ghost losses and most American are not jumping up and down about it.
    Explain how Bill and Hillary claimed they were broke after leaving the White House but continued living the Millionaire life style? Hey the used the tax code to their advantage but no one is complaining about that.
    Martin the tax code has been tailored to the 1 percent by Congress not saying it’s fair but there is nothing illegal about it.
    Put money on it Martin if you were making millions or billions a year you would be hiring the Tax Lawyers and CPA’s to get you the full benefits from the tax codes. Until some one proves Trump broke the tax code laws it’s all bull shit.

    1. Thomas,

      I do not make billions, not even millions but I do hire accountants and on occasion tax lawyers. I have not said that what he did was illegal. As a matter of fact, I have taken the same loss benefit that Trump appears to have taken. That is not my problem.

      My issue (besides the Mexican thing) is that Donald Trump has created the illusion of business success, not to be confused with being ultra-wealthy, and the facts do not fit the illusion. For example, I know that many people come back from bankruptcy and have business success. But, four? Almost a BILLION in losses. That is money that someone else lost.

      From what I know at this point is that Donald Trump is living a wealthy life while not paying PERSONAL income taxes because he is using the losses suffered by OTHERS to avoid paying income taxes. It is not illegal but it is immoral and hypocritical.

      More importantly, there are many allegations of Trump not paying his workers and providers. We don’t know this to be a fact because Donald Trump refuses to release his tax records, like other candidates have in the past, and Trump sues to keep the lid on details.

      As for your point about the 1%, I agree with you. The system is rigged and unfair across the board. Hillary Clinton is no better. But the illusion of Trump being the savior or fixing the system is an illusion that he has created. He will not change anything other than to make himself richer. Although I cannot vote and I do not find Clinton more palatable I have now decided that it is better that US voters elect the “devil you know” rather than the “devil you don’t.” I believe that Donald Trump is dangerous to me, my family, the world and all US citizens.

      As always, thanks for your comments,

  5. trump is a hypocrite among his other “qualifications”. When it comes to veterans, he proposes to take better of veterans, but by not paying income taxes be is just preaching to his choir.
    Important note today is the last day to register for early voting in Texas. Let your group know they can still get passage for voyage on the TRUMP in honor of the RMS TITANIC.

  6. Pedro
    And Hillary isn’t a hypocrite who has used the tax code to shield her wealth explain the difference?

  7. That’s very strange, accountants and tax preparators are in demand because no one is looking for a tax deduction so long it’s legal.

    Don’t we see commercials about which company can get you the most deductions? Hhhmm, if I take deductions I’m anti-veteran and not helping others.

  8. Martin
    Here is the different Trump never claimed he did not use the system to his benefit. In fact he has openly said many times he used the system to benefit his business interest. Do you every hear Hillary admit she does the same? Nope!
    Martin not saying Trump is the best choice to have as president but he is a cut above Hillary.
    Martin if you are going to be fair cover what Hillary told the Banking and Wall Street elite and what she has said publicly. Big difference! Clearly once again she lying to the people and media refuses to call her out on it and take her to task on it.
    My question is how many times does Hillary got a free pass out right caught lying but for those on the left it’s no big deal?
    Martin it is more than clear Hillary with the help of her minions at the DNC stole the DNC election process so where is the out rage from the left? Oh that’s right it’s the Russian’s fault that that fact got out of the bag not the fault of Hillary and her minions gaming the system at the DNC. Had it been shown Trump stole the GOP election process as Hillary did at the DNC you can bet money on it the FBI, DOJ and Lynch would be trying to bring Trump up on charges before the election.
    All we ask is at least be fair!

    1. Thomas, you are more than welcome to submit editorials on why Donald Trump is the better candidate. I have recently published two from other readers. I have also written a few blog posts about Hillary Clinton and how she received preferential treatment that is not available to the rest of us. I believe that is fair. But, please don’t expect me to write one Clinton post per Trump post because I am on a mission to prove that Donald Trump is just like the politicians – two faced and a liar. Additionally, I took Trump’s words about Mexicans personally and thus I am reacting to them like anyone else in my position. I will do what I can to ensure that Donald Trump is not elected and, if he is elected, I will ensure that Mexico and Mexicans have a voice no matter how small it may be. Oh, and I’ll continuously show how Donald Trump lied to the voters. However, you, or anyone else that wants to write counterpoints to my posts are welcome to and I will consider them for publication on my blog.

      Thanks for your continued commentary,

  9. Again gentlemen (trump surrogates), open your eyes; trump is the one running for president, not you King Loophole. Thomas, Hillary’s income tax statements are public so you can see for yourself that unlike trump, she pays into the income tax system. Now please contact your Represenatives and have them continue to support your candidate so that come November, trump can go down with all his supporters. Word is that some of those politicians are actually trying to distance themselves from trump, the King Klansman.

  10. Pedro, she takes the very same tax breaks he dies and she does have KKK supporters.

    So do you pledge to not take any tax deductions because of your patriotism? If you take even ONE deduction then you are not helping carry the load. In the meantime, I will continue to take every deduction that is legal. Legal just like Trump, Hillary and the rest.

  11. Pedro
    Yep have no argument of substance throw the race card. Typical of the Progressive Democrat crowd. Yes Pedro do show us the law that any one running for office has to make public their tax records. Once again insignificant “Bull Shit” that means nothing.

  12. King Loophole, time to change the broken record. Thomas, race card you are so original, much like your fearless leader. Boys, as fun as this game is, there is an election coming up so pick up your marbles and try to have a nice day.

  13. Pedro
    Yep Pedro let the progressive Democrats keep you shacked down on the plantation seems you like it.

  14. Bingo! Shame on you Thomas for using KKK language. You are starting to act like your idol after the debate. Now I believe your mommy is calling you for dinner. Good night Thomas.

  15. Pedro
    No Padro you are the one who is out here supporting the progressive Democrat plantation system. Your a prefect example of PC short circuit.

  16. Pedro, so you will be patriotic and not claim deductions ? Don’t ignore the question. Or how many years have you claimed deductions?

Comments are closed.