Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, could have paid little or even zero income tax in recent years despite valuing his own worth at more than $10 billion, experts have said.
Mr. Trump has so far refused to release his tax returns despite every other presidential nominee, Republican, and Democrat, having done so for the past 40 years.
As pressure mounted on him to make them public there were growing signs the Republican Party was nearing a breaking point with its nominee, with some insiders admitting they already believe the White House is lost.
It came after a week in which Mr. Trump falsely and repeatedly claimed President Barack Obama was the “founder” of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), appeared to joke about his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton being assassinated, and contemplated defeat for the first time saying he would “take a very, very nice long vacation”.
It showed she and husband Bill Clinton paid 30.6 per cent of their $10.6 million earnings in federal income tax.
Tax experts suggested Mr. Trump could legally have taken advantage of generous deductions open to property developers.
Len Green, chairman of the Green Group, a tax consulting service, said: “It’s certainly feasible that he may be paying zero.”
Mr. Trump has more than 500 businesses in his property empire. Despite making large profits, such property companies can be shown to make losses on paper using legitimate accounting methods like depreciating the value of buildings over time and factoring in operating costs.
As an “active real estate developer”, Mr. Trump would be allowed to deduct such losses when assessing his taxable income.
“I’m not appalled by this at all, our system allows it,” said Mr. Green, author of The Entrepreneurial Playbook. “Is it a special case for real estate developers? Yes. But we encourage development in the United States.”
Culled from Telegraph UK