- President Donald Trump in a 2012 tweet criticised Barack Obama for only paying 20.5% in federal income tax.
- But a New York Times report said that in 2012 Trump paid no income tax, because his businesses were losing so much money.
- Trump has long shielded his tax affairs from public view. He described the new report as “fake news” without explaining why it is false.
- Obama was criticised when his tax returns were released in 2012 at they revealed that he paid a lower rate of tax than his secretary.
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A tweet from 2012 in which President Donald Trump attacked Barack Obama for paying 20.5% income tax is getting renewed attention in light of a New York Times report showing that Trump has paid next to nothing for years.
In the tweet, Trump cited information in a tax return released by Obama that year, showing that in 2011 he paid $162,074 in federal taxes on a gross income of $789,674.
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2012
At the time Trump was burnishing his own presidential credentials, based largely on his image as a billionaire businessman who owned businesses across the world.
But according to a bombshell report by the The New York Times, citing information from tax records Trump has long shielded from public view, Trump has for more than a decade contributed hardly any federal income tax.
Due to massive losses in his sprawling network of businesses, the Times said Trump paid nothing in federal income tax in 11 of the 18 years which the it examined.
They include the four years before Trump launched his presidential bid in 2015, according to the Times, so cover 2012, when he sent the tweet trolling Obama.
In 2015 and in 2016 Trump paid a total $750 — far less than the averaged salaried US worker — while boasting on the campaign trail that his business acumen uniquely qualified him for the presidency.
Trump broke with decades of precedent in refusing to release his tax returns.
Obama’s 2012 tax returns at the time caused controversy, since the documents showed that the president’s tax rate was lower than that of his secretary at the time. Obama was then campaigning for reelection, and attacking Republicans for what he claimed were unfair tax policies.
After the release of his returns, the White House told news outlets that Obama believed he should be paying more tax.
It was Obama’s charitable donations, which consisted of $172,130 to 39 charities, that had reduced his effective tax rate, reported the New York Times.