Trump paid just $750 in federal income tax in both 2016 and 2017, and did not pay any tax in 10 of the 15 years prior to that, according to the Times, which based its reporting on tax return data that extends across more than two decades. The Times also reported Trump is personally responsible for $421 million in debt and other loans that are largely coming due in the next four years.
Within hours of the article’s publication, Biden’s team released an ad contrasting Trump’s meager payments with typical amounts contributed by American taxpayers.
The ad is the first statement from the Biden camp on the report. Biden retweeted the clip, but did not comment further.
Trump vowed during his 2016 campaign that he would release his tax returns, but reneged once he took office and has fought fiercely in court to keep his tax information secret from Congress and from prosecutors investigating possible fraud.
He denied the Times report during a news conference on Sunday evening. He did not offer any evidence to the contrary, but repeated his tired claim that he’ll reveal his tax filings when the IRS completes its audit on him. An audit does not prevent him from releasing his tax data.
Trump was roundly condemned by Democrats.
“Shock of shocks! Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed billionaire, received a $72.9 million tax refund from the IRS while not paying a nickel in federal income taxes in 10 out of 15 years,” tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “Yep. Trump l-o-v-e-s corporate socialism for himself, rugged capitalism for everyone else.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) noted that Trump pays less in taxes than struggling families.
“He thinks teachers and janitors should pay to keep our country running, not billionaires and giant corporations,” Warren tweeted. “It is long past time to make rich and powerful guys like Trump pay their fair share.”
And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked followers to raise their hands “if you paid more in federal income tax than President Trump.”