President Donald Trump paid $38 million in federal income tax in 2005 on more than $150 million, for an effective rate of 25 percent, and reported a $105 million write-down, according to a copy of his federal tax return revealed on MSNBC tonight.
Two pages of the tax document were obtained by David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, and he first reported about it Tuesday evening on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
The revelation provides the most recent glimpse at Trump’s income. Last fall, the New York Times reported that Trump reported a massive $916 million loss in 1995, which enabled him to avoid paying income taxes for decades.
Trump repeatedly has refused to release his income tax returns, breaking with decades of tradition for presidential nominees, claiming that he has been under audit.
The Washington Post could not independently verify the 2005 return, but a statement from the White House indicated that it is authentic. The statement, issued to reporters anonymously to be attributed to a White House spokesperson, accused MSNBC of unlawfully releasing Trump’s tax returns.
“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 statement said. It added that Trump, as “one of the most successful businessmen in the world,” paid “no more tax than legally required.”
The statement went on to say: “Mr. Trump paid $38 million dollars even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $150 million dollars, as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and this illegally published return proves just that. Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. 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.”
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Philip Rucker