Sharing tax returns with the public was the norm until Donald Trump. By professional background and temperament, President Donald Trump an abnormal occupant of the Oval Office. He’s not released his federal tax returns.
The New York Times secured two decades’ of President Trump’s tax filings showing paltry $750 tax paid in 1916 and 1917, due to massive business losses and absurd write-offs! Trump’s unwillingness to release tax –related data, allows us to review the history of POTUSes and their respective IRS filings since the government began collecting taxes on income back in the early 1900s:
- There is no law that dictates that a serving POTIS must release tax filings, but it is seen as being beneficial to their “honest” image.
- Apart from Gerald Ford, who released only his tax summary, every POTUS all the way from Nixon to Obama have released their entire tax returns.
- Because of Trump’s apprehension to disclose his tax returns, it has taken a lot of research by New York Times to find out his returns.
While USA had wage-based taxation before, the modern income tax was imposed after the 16th Amendment in 1913. For decades, executive branch leaders hid their returns and Nixon was the First President to release his Tax Returns.
From Ford to Obama
The federal taxes on Income paid by various US Presidents during their first year in office;
|George H.W. Bush||$101,382|
|George W. Bush||$250,221|
For decades, sharing their tax returns are a way for potential candidates to quash any fears about them disclosing their real wealthy and showing everyone that they are honest taxpayers like other Americans.
While there is no law that requires this step, the recent Times revelations indicates reasons why Trump may be choosing this strategy to hide information. President Nixon, in 1970, paid only $792 as federal income tax between 1969 and 1972.
The Trump Tax Saga and New York Times revelations
Trump has allegedly paid little or no tax, has tens of millions in of debt, and many contentious tax deductions, such as a baffling $747,622 as consulting fees for his own daughter Ivanka Trump and over $70,000 as hair styling expenses while hosting the NBC show The Apprentice. The tax returns bear no resemblance to the annual disclosure documents Trump has touted. The disclosure showed earnings of $434.9 million in 2018, while tax forms reveal a loss of $47.4 million for that same year. Trump calls the Time’s revelations as totally fake news, but has not disputed any specific findings.
Joe Biden’s Tax Filings
Joe Biden has released tax returns for 2019, when he and his wife Dr. Jill Biden’s paid $299,346 of federal income tax on $985,233 of adjusted gross income. Of this income, $517,334 are wages, including his $135,166 professor’s salary at the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Biden’s teaching position at a community college. An additional $308,932 of wages are from two jointly owned companies: CelticCapri Corp and Giacoppa Corp.