Trump’s Leaked Tax Returns Show He’s $421 Million In Debt

by : Emily Brown on : 28 Sep 2020 10:15
Trump's Leaked Tax Returns Show He's $421 Million In DebtTrump's Leaked Tax Returns Show He's $421 Million In DebtPA Images

An eye-opening report about Donald Trump’s tax returns indicates years of tax avoidance and a man who is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. 

The exposé published yesterday, September 27, comes in the midst of the presidential race and just two days before the first debate between Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday night.


Based on more than two decades of Trump’s tax information obtained by The New York Times, the report claimed Trump personally holds $421 million of debt and loans which are largely coming due in the next four years.

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPA Images

The Times reported:

In the 1990s, Mr Trump nearly ruined himself by personally guaranteeing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, and he has since said that he regretted doing so. But he has taken the same step again, his tax records show. He appears to be responsible for loans totaling $421m, most of which is coming due within four years.


Most of the debt allegedly comes from Trump’s properties, with the Doral golf resort in Florida costing him $125 million and his Washington hotel another $160 million. On top of that, a $100 million mortgage on Trump Tower in New York will come due in 2022.

Trump’s core enterprises, including his golf courses and his Washington hotel, are said to lose ‘millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars year after year’.

TrumpTrumpPA Images

Trump defied convention when he refused to release his tax records to the public while running for office in 2016, and another key finding of the report said Trump paid no federal income taxes in 11 of 18 years the newspaper looked at.


In 2016 and 2017, Trump paid just $750 per year in federal income taxes – much less than many Americans who are working tirelessly just to stay afloat.

In an effort to reduce his tax bills, the president reportedly took tax deductions on personal expenses such as housing, aircraft and $70,000 to style his hair during his time filming The Apprentice. A nearly $100,000 payment to daughter Ivanka’s favourite hair and makeup stylist was also listed as a business expense.

Ivanka also appears to have received ‘consulting fees’ while working as an employee of the Trump Organisation; fees which are said to have helped reduce the family’s tax bill.


The Times reports that Trump is currently involved in an audit with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which began in 2011 after he claimed and received a $72.9m tax refund. The IRS is reviewing the legitimacy of the refund, and a ruling against the POTUS could cost him more than $100m.

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPA Images

The documents obtained comprised information that Trump had ‘disclosed to the IRS’ rather than the findings of an independent financial examination. They revealed Trump ‘owns hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. ‘

The president responded to the report in a White House press briefing on Sunday, where he cried ‘fake news’ about the findings.


Per The Guardian, he commented:

We went through the same stories, you could have asked me the same questions four years ago, I had to litigate this and talk about it.

Totally fake news, no. Actually I paid tax. And you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns – it’s under audit, they’ve been under audit for a long time. The [Internal Revenue Service] does not treat me well … they treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS – they treat me very badly.

The New York Times tried it, the same thing, they want to create a little bit of a story. They’re doing anything they can. That’s the least of it. The stories that I read are so fake, they’re so phony.

Trump has long painted himself as a successful businessman, but the Times argues the tax returns ‘tell a story fundamentally different from the one he has sold to the American public.’

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Donald Trump, Election, Joe Biden, Now, President


The New York Times and 1 other
  1. The New York Times

    The President's Taxes

  2. The Guardian

    New York Times publishes Donald Trump's tax returns in election bombshell