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Trump’s ‘Smart’ Tax Returns are none for over 18 Years | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in Bismarck, North Dakota US, May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Washington- Every candidate running for president of the United States has released their tax returns to the public for over four decades. The tradition is not mandatory, yet is carried out as a sign of good faith for voters, ensuring them that the candidate hadn’t been guilty of tax evasion.

Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party’s nominee, has not yet released his tax returns, causing wide controversy, especially after The New York Times had accused the candidate of dodging taxes for over 18 years.

Trump’s refusal to release his tax records has sizably weakened his position against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

The New York Times, a media outlet accused by the Republican camp of siding with Clinton had said that Trump’s reported $916 million loss in 1995 might have allowed him to legally avoid paying any income taxes for almost two decades.

Although Trump’s taxable income in subsequent years is as yet unknown, a $916 million loss in 1995 would have been large enough to wipe out more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years.

“The tax experts consulted by The Times said the $916 million net operating loss declared by Trump in 1995 almost certainly included large net operating losses carried forward from the early 1990s, when most of Trump’s key holdings were hemorrhaging money. Indeed, by 1990, his entire business empire was on the verge of collapse. In a few short years, he had amassed $3.4 billion in debt — personally guaranteeing $832 million of it — to assemble a portfolio that included three casinos and a hotel in Atlantic City, the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, an airline and a huge yacht,” The New York Times wrote.

After The New York Times published the article, Trump’s campaign responded, not by commenting on the mentioned losses, but reiterated that Trump is a talented and responsible businessman.

Trump’s campaign office accused The New York Times of bias and nothing but an extension to Clinton’s campaign and personal interests of Democrats.

Trump’s response when Clinton had accused him of not paying a cent of federal tax during the first presidential debate, left many surprised.

“That makes me smart,” Trump said, unapologetic and smiling, during the presidential debate, held in Hempstead, N.Y.

On the other hand, Clinton and the Democratic Party raised $154 million in September, according to the Clinton campaign announcement. The former Secretary of State enters the final weeks of the presidential campaign with a combined cash reserve of $150 million.