Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Taxes in 2017. Here’s the Math.

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The small amount of federal income taxes President Trump paid in both 2016 and 2017 — just $750 each year — has become the focus of much attention since it was revealed in a New York Times investigation. The figures below, drawn from Mr. Trump’s tax-return data for 2017, show how his accountants arrived at that figure for one of those years.




Includes pro-rated presidential salary and small amounts for film and television appearances.

Taxable interest

Almost $6 million of this is interest income from his investment with Vornado Realty Trust.

Ordinary dividends

Includes $13,123 from trusts established by his parents and $7,000 from Deutsche Bank.

Capital gain and other gains

Profits from the sale of property or other investments.

Pensions and annuities

Includes a Sceen Actors Guild Producers pension of $77,808.

15,313,785

Losses on his businesses

Losses after deducting expenses from the $536.6 million in gross receipts at Mr. Trump’s core businesses.

12,306,111

Other income

Losses from prior years, counted with other income, further dragged the total into the red.

–$12,819,400

Total

income

Includes pro-rated presidential salary and small amounts for film and television appearances.

Taxable interest

Almost $6 million of this is interest income from his investment with Vornado Realty Trust.

Ordinary dividends

Includes $13,123 from trusts established by his parents and $7,000 from Deutsche Bank.

Capital gain and

other gains

Profits from the sale of property or other investments.

Pensions and annuities

Includes a Sceen Actors Guild Producers pension of $77,808.

15,313,785

Business losses

Losses after deducting expenses from the $536.6 million in gross receipts at Mr. Trump’s core businesses.

12,306,111

Other income

Losses from prior years, counted with other income, further dragged the total into the red.

–$12,819,400

Total

income


By The New York Times

Although Mr. Trump donates his salary to the government, it is subject to income tax along with his other earnings. But because Mr. Trump’s overall income was negative, he did not owe regular income tax on any of it.

He was, however, still subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax, a parallel tax system that reduces the benefit of some deductions, preventing wealthy people from erasing their tax liability altogether. Most significantly, the A.M.T. formula disallowed $45 million in losses that Mr. Trump had carried over from prior years.

But tax laws gave him one more line on which to reduce the A.M.T. Mr. Trump had $22.7 million in General Business Credit, much of it carried forward from prior years, that he could apply. The credit is a smorgasbord of tax incentives and givebacks to business owners, and in Mr. Trump’s case they ranged from credits of $322,926 for Social Security and Medicare taxes paid on employee tips to at least $1.5 million related to rehabilitating the Old Post Office in Washington.

The business credit cannot be used to get a refund; it can only be applied against taxes owed. Mr. Trump had more than enough to cancel out his $7,435,857 tax bill. But on the Form 3800 for the General Business Credit, his accountants subtracted $750 from his allowable credit. Why they did that is not clear. But the result was a total federal income tax liability of $750.




$7,435,857

Alternative Minimum Tax

General Business Credit

Total income

tax due

$7,435,857

General Business

Credit

Total income

tax due


By The New York Times

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