The world was shocked to learn about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s tax status which was uncovered by the New York Times. Journalists there found Trump had filed a $916 million loss in his 1995 taxes, which likely helped him not pay a nickel of income taxes over the last 20 years. Since Trump has refused to release his taxes there is no way to know exactly how much he has paid, or when he paid anything. It is therefore free game to speculate about this information. Now the Daily Beast has taken the step to begin dissecting just how Trump, who sells himself as a successful businessman, lost $916 million in a single year.
It appears Trump’s near $1 billion loss came from, in part, to his failed 23 jets used for “Trump Shuttle” and in the extravagantly expensive Trump Plaza Hotel in downtown Manhattan. All of the money Trump lost were considered “net operating losses” otherwise known as NOLs, are how Trump managed to skirt tax laws. Money that is lost during business dealings can be later applied against taxes owed to the government, but not all NOLs are the same. Certain NOLs can be applied two years prior to a loss or a full fifteen years after a loss. This, alone, gives much credence to the concept that Trump hasn’t paid a dime in taxes.
Further than that Trump’s financial wizards found a way to take his losses in purchasing real estate which had lost value and tied those to his NOLs, which have a more liberal interpretation of their implementation.
Many in the public have decried Trump’s tax manipulations as barbaric and dysfunctional. Others see him as a genius able to navigate the convoluted waters of the tax code. How this will ultimatley play with the voters will be known soon as the election is barely a full month away.