BY SYLVAN LANE AND NAOMI JAGODA
03/14/17 THE HILL
President Trump paid roughly $38 million in taxes on $150 million in income in 2005, according to partial tax returns obtained by DCReport.org.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump paid $5.3 million in regular federal income tax plus $31 million in alternative minimum tax — originally created to prevent tax avoidance by wealthy filers. He also paid nearly $2 million in self-employment taxes, according to the first two pages of Trump’s 2005 Form 1040. Trump’s effective tax rate was about 25 percent.
Trump wrote off $103 million, which may have been carried over from claiming nearly $1 billion in income losses in 1995, information previously reported by the New York Times.
The two pages of returns do not include details about his sources of income or whether he gave any of his own money to charity.
The White House confirmed the authenticity of the report and insisted Trump had “a responsibility to his company, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required.”
The two pages of returns were mailed by an unidentified source to DCReport.org journalist David Cay Johnston, who shared the documents and appeared on MSNBC Tuesday night.
The leaked document gives another glimpse into Trump’s finances. He broke long-standing tradition by refusing to release his tax returns during the campaign or after his election, citing an ongoing IRS audit. The IRS has said an audit would not prevent him from releasing the documents.
Trump’s opponents have long speculated that his tax returns could contain damaging information such as financial ties to Russia.
Johnston, a Pulitzer-winning reporter and author of a Trump biography, said it’s possible that Trump himself leaked the returns.
The White House said the returns were stolen, slamming MSNBC.
“Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns,” the White House said in a statement.
Legal experts have said journalists who receive tax returns without soliciting them can legally publish them, and Maddow said MSNBC was exercising its First Amendment right.
Democrats said the White House’s confirmation of the 2005 figures gives Trump no excuse not to release all of his tax returns.
“The White House’s willingness to release some tax information when it suits them proves Donald Trump’s audit excuse is a sham,” said Democratic National Committee senior adviser Zac Petkanas. “If they can release some of the information, they can release all of the information. The only reason not to release his returns is to hide what’s in them such as financial connections with Russian oligarchs and the Kremlin.”
Rep. Bill Pascrell (N.J.), a leader of Democratic efforts to obtain Trump’s returns, tweeted that the report is “another step on the mountain we’ve been climbing.”
“The truth is out there. We can wait for it to come a page at a time or #CongressCanRequest [Trump’s] tax returns to allow proper oversight,” tweeted Pascrell.