DONALD Trump filed a $1billion loss on his tax returns in 1995 – legally entitling him to not pay federal income tax for 18 years, a newspaper report has claimed.
The Republican hopeful declared during the first presidential debate that he would not release his tax returns unless Hillary Clinton showed the 30,000 emails she reportedly deleted from her personal account.
During the early 1990s, the business tycoon was rocked after investing heavily in an airline business and the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan – both of which haemorrhaged money.
The 70-year-old was hit hard by the closure of his three Atlantic city casinos, which all went bust during the same period.
Experts claim tax rules in the US allow the extremely rich like Trump to use the $916million (£700million) loss to write off the same amount of taxable income over an 18-year-stint.
Records show the near $1billion loss would have been big enough to cancel more than $50million a year in taxable income over an 18 year period, according to the New York Times.
The business tycoon’s precise income remains unclear.
Trump’s campaign team did not deny the New Yorker had filed a near $1billion loss on his tax return in 1995.
Trump’s statement read: “Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required.
“That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes.
“Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President and he is the only one that knows how to fix it.”
Marc E. Kasowitz, a lawyer for Trump, threatened “prompt initiation of appropriate legal action” for releasing the tax returns, which he claims are illegal because the businessman has not given permission for the papers to be published.
During the first presidential debate, Mr Trump suggested it made him “smart” that he had not paid federal income taxes on his casinos in the late 1970s.
The former reality TV star has broken with a 40-year tradition and become the first presidential candidate to not release their tax returns.