The New York Times reported Tuesday that Donald Trump’s businesses lost more than $1 billion from 1985 to 1994, based on tax information the newspaper acquired.
The Times said it has acquired printouts from the future president’s official IRS tax transcripts, including figures from his federal tax form.
The newspaper said Trump reported business losses of $46.1 million in 1985, and a total of $1.17 billion in losses for the 10-year period.
After comparing Trump’s information with that of other “high-income earners,” the Times concluded that Trump “appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer.” Because of his business losses, the newspaper reported, Trump did not pay income taxes for eight of the 10 years.
Charles J. Harder, the president’s lawyer, told the Times on Saturday the tax information was “demonstrably false” and its statements “about the president’s tax returns and business from 30 years ago are highly inaccurate,” according to the report.
“I.R.S. transcripts, particularly before the days of electronic filing, are notoriously inaccurate [and] would not be able to provide a reasonable picture of any taxpayer’s return,” Harder wrote, according to the Times.
The House Ways and Means Committee has asked the IRS to provide Trump’s personal and business returns for 2013 through 2018. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday refused to do so, saying the panel’s request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.”
Mnuchin’s move, which had been expected, is likely to set a legal battle into motion. The chief options available to Democrats are to subpoena the IRS for the returns or to file a lawsuit.