Former President Donald Trump reported a stunning reversal of fortune during the middle two years of his presidency, resulting in a sizable tax bill, according to a report released Tuesday night by the Joint Committee on Taxation.
The $1.1 million Trump paid in federal taxes in 2018 and 2019 stands in stark contrast to the $750 he paid in 2017 and $0 in 2020.
Trump’s tax bill grew significantly in 2018 and 2019, according to the report, which includes details of Trump’s tax returns from 2015 to 2020, which was released ahead of the tax returns themselves, which are scheduled to be released. Trump, for example, reported $22 million in capital gains in 2018 and $9 million in asset sale gains in 2019, turning his income around after years of massive losses .
In 2015 and 2016, Trump reported that he was losing more than $32 million a year. In 2017, Trump said he lost nearly $13 million. But his reported taxable income of $24 million in 2018 and more than $4 million in 2019 gave him a big tax bill.
As a previous investigation by The New York Times showed, Trump used the huge losses accumulated over the years to wipe out his tax liability. For example, the JCT noted that Trump carried forward losses of $105 million in 2015, $73 million in 2016, $45 million in 2017, and $23 million in 2018.
“It’s a 2,000-pound gorilla. … He’s still using a net operating loss” to reduce his tax liability, said Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute’s Urban Brookings Center on Tax Policy Er said.
In 2020, as the pandemic raged, Trump again reported huge losses of nearly $5 million. He paid $0 in federal income tax that year.