NYT Wrongly Speculated During 2016 Election That Trump Paid No Taxes for Two Decades

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March 15, 2017

Rachel Maddow's much-heralded release of President Donald Trump's tax returns on MSNBC may have turned out to be a dud, but the new document does show that the New York Times was incorrect when they speculated that Trump could have paid zero taxes for 18 years.

A month before the 2016 presidential election, the Times ran a front-page story on Oct. 1 indicating that "Donald Trump Tax Records Show He Could Have Avoided Taxes for Nearly Two Decades." According to the Times, the $916 million loss in Trump's leaked 1995 tax return was substantial enough that Trump could've used it to avoid paying any taxes up until 2013.

Two leaked pages from Trump's 2005 tax return released on Tuesday by Maddow proved that speculation was off-base. While Trump did write off millions that year, the return shows that he paid $38 million in federal income taxes, around 25 percent of his taxable income.

The Times' original error appears to be undervaluing Trump's annual income. The 2016 analysis assumed "$50 million a year in taxable income," while the 2005 return shows that Trump reported $150 million in taxable income.

The New York Times has not responded to the Washington Free Beacon for comment on whether they planned to correct or clarify the original story.