Campaign Manager Defends Trump's Record On Taxes

| by Ray Brown
Donald TrumpDonald Trump

Kellyanne Conway, the spokesperson for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, pushed against a New York Times report that deduced that Trump hasn't been paying taxes for 18 years.

"You look around New York, and other cities, but particularly here, and you see the fruits of Donald Trump’s business acumen," Conway told "CBS This Morning," according to Politico. "But The fact is, this man has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes over decades. Excise taxes, federal payroll taxes, city, state and local taxes real estate taxes, property taxes."

"You didn’t say income taxes," said CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell.

“Well, he certainly has, in years that he made a profit, like anybody else, he paid income taxes,” Conway replied.

The New York Times report suggested that Trump has been able to avoid paying income taxes since 1995, when he filed a loss of nearly $1 billion, which could have enabled him to avoid paying taxes for up to 18 years.

Trump has refused to release his income taxes, which would give a more definitive answer as to whether the New York Times report is accurate, but he has refused to do so because of a routine IRS audit.

But even if the New York Times report is accurate, Trump isn't guilty of breaking any laws. And Trump has constantly boasted that his knowledge of the tax code is what enables him to use it to his advantage.

"I knew how to use the tax code to rebuild my company when others didn’t. My understanding of the tax code gave me a tremendous advantage," Trump said at a campaign stop in Colorado on Oct. 3, reported The Atlantic.

Although Democrats have spent much of their energy attacking Trump for using legal tax loopholes, the federal tax code has also come under scrutiny in recent days.

A new study by Citizens for Tax Justice shows that Fortune 500 companies are holding nearly $2.5 trillion in profits offshore, and just 30 of those companies account for about $1.65 trillion of these offshore profits.

And some of America's most recognizable brands are among the biggest tax avoiders, according to the study.

Apple has $214.9 billion offshore, the biggest corporate offshore holding.

"[Apple] would owe $65.4 billion in U.S. taxes if these profits were not officially held offshore for tax purposes," the CTJ study says. 

"And yes, it is all legal," wrote New York Times financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Sources: CBS via Politico, The Atlantic, New York Times (2), Citizens for Tax Justice/ Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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