ABC News(ST. LOUIS) — Donald Trump admitted that “of course” he employed a provision of the tax code that allowed him to use a massive business loss that he claims he suffered in the 1990s to “avoid” paying taxes.
Trump’s has drawn scrutiny for not releasing his federal income tax returns, as is common practice for presidential candidates, saying that he is currently under audit.
A portion of his 1995 tax returns were leaked to The New York Times and those pages showed that he claimed a $916 million loss, which may have allowed him not to pay personal federal income tax for a number of years afterwards.
The three pages from the state returns — New York and non-resident filings from Connecticut and New Jersey — were not disputed by the campaign.
When asked if he used that loss “to avoid paying taxes,” Trump said “Of course I do, and so do all of her donors.”
“I understand the tax code better than anyone and it’s complex,” Trump said.
“I pay tremendous numbers of taxes and I used it and so did Warren Buffett and George Soros and the other people,” Trump said, naming two known Democratic supporters.
When asked if he can say how many years he did not pay taxes, Trump said he could not.
The Trump campaign has said that he paid hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes, including payroll and VAT, but the candidate has not addressed the issue of federal income taxes.
Trump’s son, Eric, has said his father “absolutely” pays federal income taxes.
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