WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he paid “many millions of dollars in taxes” but was entitled to depreciation and tax credits and also said he was under-leveraged, having more assets than debt.
The Republican president responded in a series of Twitter posts to a New York Times report that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, after years of reporting heavy losses from his business enterprises.
“I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits,” he wrote on Twitter. “I am extremely under leveraged – I have very little debt compared to the value of assets.”
The Republican president, who will face Democratic rival Joe Biden on Tuesday night for their first debate before the Nov. 3 election, said he had “extraordinary assets” and boasted a “very IMPRESSIVE” financial statement.
However, he has refused to release his tax returns, as presidents and presidential candidates have done for decades. Trump says it is because he is under audit by the Internal Revenue Service but the agency has said there is no reason he cannot release his taxes while under audit.
Trump has hundreds of millions of dollars in debt amid chronic business losses that he uses to avoid paying taxes, the Times reported. It said it has obtained tax-return data covering more than two decades for Trump and his businesses.
Trump accused the Times of having obtained the tax information illegally, which the newspaper has denied.
He has rejected the Times report as inaccurate.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey, Lisa Lambert; Editing by Franklin Paul and Alistair Bell)