The New York Times found out that a huge business loss over 20 years ago may have allowed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to not pay taxes for several years.
According to Breitbart, there was nothing illegal about what Trump did, since his $916 million loss declared in 1995 would reduce his tax liability in future years. Nobody disputes that the loss happened and nobody says that Trump did anything illegal.
In fact, there have been several corporations that have used the same deduction rules to reduce their tax liability to zero in even sketchier ways.
One of them is The New York Times.
It’s no secret that The Times has hemorrhaged money from time to time, thanks to the declining influence of newspapers. As recently as two years ago the company was able to do the same thing that Trump did – despite it having a pre-tax profit of almost $30 million.
This is what Forbes Magazine said at the time:
“For tax year 2014, The New York Times paid no taxes and got an income tax refund of $3.5 million even though they had a pre-tax profit of $29.9 million in 2014. In other words, their post-tax profit was higher than their pre-tax profit.
“The explanation in their 2014 annual report is, ‘The effective tax rate for 2014 was favorably affected by approximately $21.1 million for the reversal of reserves for uncertain tax positions due to the lapse of applicable statutes of limitations.’ If you don’t think it took fancy accountants and tax lawyers to make that happen, read the statement again.”
Put simply, Trump took a huge loss 20 years ago that nobody disputes, which means that under the American tax code, he had no tax liability. The newspaper that reported on and criticized this made a profit two years ago and used that very same tax code to have no tax liability.