Trump Paid $1.1 Million in Taxes During His Presidency, House Committee Documents Show

Trump Paid $1.1 Million in Taxes During His Presidency, House Committee Documents Show
Former President Donald Trump speaks in Dallas, Texas, on Aug. 6, 2022. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek

Former President Donald Trump and his wife, former First Lady Melania Trump, paid a total of just more than $1.1 million in federal income tax over the course of his presidency, according to an overview of Trump’s tax returns released by the House Ways and Means Committee.

While Trump’s full tax returns haven’t been released yet, the Democrat-controlled committee published a report and some documents that reveal details about the former president’s income and taxes paid.

The documents show that, from 2015 through 2020, the Trumps jointly reported millions of dollars in income for each of the six years in capital gains, dividends, and interest.

For most of the period in question, however, that was more than offset by losses, with the Trumps reporting negative income in four of the six years.

While the losses reduced the Trumps’ tax obligations, over the course of six years, their total federal tax liability was $4.4 million. After the application of tax credits and excluding items such as self-employment taxes, this narrowed to a “net tax” of $1.8 million.

The committee also voted along partisan lines to release all six years of Trump’s tax returns, which are expected to be made public as soon as within several days.

The ultimate disclosure of the filings will cap Trump’s multi-year battle to keep the returns private.

“You can’t learn much from tax returns, but it is illegal to release them if they are not yours!” Trump wrote recently on Truth Social.

The question of whether to release Trump’s tax returns has become a contentious issue, with Republicans arguing that doing so would set a dangerous precedent.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee who opposed the release of Trump’s tax returns, argued that the information contained in such disclosures could be spun by political foes.

“It’s the power to embarrass, harass, or destroy Americans through disclosure of their tax returns,” Brady said moments before the committee went into a closed session for a vote.

“After nearly half a century, the political enemies list is back in Washington, D.C., and we worry this will unleash a cycle of political retribution in Congress.”

A spokesman for the former president told The Wall Street Journal that the release of Trump’s returns was an “unprecedented leak by lame-duck Democrats.”

Presidential Tax Audits

Tax returns are confidential, according to federal law, but exceptions include written requests from the House Ways and Means Committee, which said it sought Trump’s returns as part of its inquiry into how the IRS audits U.S. presidents.
The committee obtained Trump’s returns in November after the U.S. Supreme Court opted against continuing to block the IRS from handing over the documents.

In response to a tax scandal involving former President Richard Nixon, the IRS introduced mandated audits of presidential tax returns in 1977.

“When concern arose over President Nixon’s returns and whether they were properly examined, the Internal Revenue Service established a procedure of mandatory audits for presidents and vice presidents,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said in a statement. “The policy is simple and states: ‘individual income tax returns for the President and Vice-President are subject to a mandatory examination.’”

The committee’s report (pdf) shows that the IRS failed to conduct a mandatory audit of Trump’s tax returns during his first two years in office.

“The committee expected that these mandatory audits were being conducted promptly and in accordance with IRS policies. However, our review found that under the prior Administration the program was dormant,” Neal said.

He added that the committee had expected that the IRS would expand its audit program “to account for the complex nature of the former president’s financial situation” yet the panel “found no evidence of that.”

Calling this “a major failure of the IRS,” Neal called for Congress to get involved and adopt legislation that would ensure the agency conducts “yearly, timely examinations while publicly disclosing certain information.”

IRS officials didn’t respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.


The documents released by the committee show that Trump’s businesses at times reported significant losses on tax returns, which can be used to offset tax liabilities.

For the six-year period from 2015 to 2020, the Trumps’ adjusted gross income was negative $53.2 million.

During two of those years, however, the Trumps reported positive adjusted gross income of $24.3 million in 2018 and $4.4 million in 2019.

Their total federal tax liability over the six-year period—which includes self-employment and household employment taxes—was $4.4 million.

The slimmed-down “net tax” figure came to $1.8 million.

In three of those years—2015, 2016, and 2017—the Trumps reported an income tax liability of $750.

In 2018, they paid nearly $1 million in taxes, and in 2019, that figure was $133,445.

In 2020, the Trumps reported a loss of $4.8 million and paid $0 in federal taxes.

Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
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