With critics pointing to the New York Times releasing GOP nominee Donald Trump’s 1995 tax returns as an early October surprise — maybe to distract from an anticipated announcement this week from Julian Assange — the newspaper may have been wise to review its own tax records before opening Pandora’s box.
The Times explained that Trump declared a $916 million loss in 1995 that may have led to him paying no federal taxes for up to 18 years, but it turns out that IF Trump did avoid paying taxes, he could have some company — as in The New York Times.
“The Times should be the last organization to criticize others for benefiting from the tax code,” Forbes contributor Jeffrey Dorfman wrote in January.
In addition to noting that The Times sits on land seized by the government under the power of eminent domain and that the newspaper is not opposed to taking advantage of tax breaks to the tune of millions of dollars, Dorfman informs us that the hypocrisy doesn’t stop there.
In fact, it appears that The Times avoided paying any taxes at all in 2014 AND got a refund:
More recently, 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.
And while Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign jumped on the The Times “bombshell report” to disparage Trump, it appears that Clinton employed the very same loss avoidance “scheme,” according to the financial blog Zero Hedge.
Clinton herself commented on social media: “Trump ‘apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades—while tens of millions of working families paid theirs.'”
Trump "apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades—while tens of millions of working families paid theirs." pic.twitter.com/g62jB9fKr5
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 2, 2016
“Simply put – pot, kettle, black,” the blog declared, pointing out that Clinton reported a $700,000 loss on her 2015 tax return.
While not on the scale of Trump’s business “operating loss”, Hillary Clinton – like many ‘wealthy’ individuals is taking advantage of a legal scheme to use historical losses to avoid paying current taxes.