As the host of The Apprentice, Donald Trump was defined by his wealth and no-nonsense expertise in the tough world of business.
However, official IRS tax transcripts from the years 1985 to 1994 tell a different story, with the now president having reportedly lost $1.17 billion in just under a decade.
These transcripts, obtained by The New York Times, claim that President Trump lost more money during this decade than almost any other individual taxpayer is the US.
The New York Times claim the President reported a negative adjusted gross income on his tax returns from 1985 through 1994.
In 1985 alone Mr Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his various casinos, hotels, and retail spaces within apartment buildings
In 1990 and 1991, Mr Trump’s core businesses lost over $250 million. The New York Times have reported that this figure equates to over twice that of the closest taxpayers in the IRS’ sampling.
Mr Trump is said to have lost so much during this period that he was able to avoid paying income tax for eight out of the ten years.
Reporters at The New York Times have noted how White House responses to these transcripts have changed somewhat over the course of several weeks.
A senior official from the White House originally issued the following statement:
The president got massive depreciation and tax shelter because of large-scale construction and subsidized developments.
That is why the president has always scoffed at the tax system and said you need to change the tax laws. You can make a large income and not have to pay large amount of taxes.
However, following further inquiries, President Trumps’s lawyer Charles J. Harder described the data as being ‘demonstrably false’, stating:
I.R.S. transcripts, particularly before the days of electronic filing, are notoriously inaccurate.
Mr Harder reportedly did not cite any specific errors in the transcripts, but added that the data, ‘would not be able to provide a reasonable picture of any taxpayer’s return’.
As reported by The New York Times, President Trump’s father – Fred Trump Sr. – transferred over $1 billion of his fortune to his children.
Donald Trump reportedly received a significantly larger portion of this wealth than his siblings. By the age of three, he was receiving an annual salary equivalent to $200,000 in contemporary terms from his father, becoming a millionaire by the age of eight.
Between the years 1989 and 1992, Fred Sr reportedly paid his son $8.3 million in today’s dollars to help him out.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.