Documents released by the internal revenue service (irs) revealed that former us president donald trump paid no federal taxes in 2020 and only $750 in 2016 and 2017. it also showed that he held bank accounts in ireland, the united kingdom and china from 2015-17. the irs did not audit the former president during the first years of his presidency, only beginning in 2019. maryanne monforte, a professor of accounting practices at syracuse university, remarked that the tax returns of president trump represent a quagmire even for professionals.
Documents were released in april 2021, and experts from both sides of the us political spectrum believe that the returns will have little impact on mr trump’s popularity among his core supporters. in 2018, after earning $24.3m in adjusted gross income, he and his wife paid just under $1m, giving them a tax rate of 4.1%. comparatively, barack obama and his wife michelle obama’s taxable income peaked in 2009, when they took home $5.5m, and paid about 30% in taxes. george w bush and his wife laura bush had an average tax rate of 27.8%, while bill clinton and his wife hillary clinton had an average tax rate of 18.5%.
Criticised the disclosure, warning that it will deepen the us political divide. it is customary for presidents to publish their tax returns, and us presidents are paid a salary like any worker, but many also earn income from their personal businesses and investments. trump added that the documents “show[s] how proudly successful i have been and how i have been able to use depreciation and various other tax deductions as an incentive for creating thousands of jobs and magnificent structures and enterprises.” don beyer, a member of the committee overseeing the records release, noted that the irs’ auditing system was broken and that congress had much work to do to make tax enforcement fairer. democratic strategist ameshia cross commented that for trump voters, “quite frankly, i don’t think this matters,” though undecided voters may perceive the documents as showing that his business acumen “wasn’t actually what he was making it out to be”.