On May 21, the Washington Post reported that Donald Trump did not pay income taxes in 1978 or 1979:
Trump had submitted his 1978 and 1979 returns to the regulators as part of an application for a casino license. State records summarizing the returns show that Trump claimed that his combined income during those two years was negative $3.8 million, allowing him to pay no taxes. A few years earlier, he had told the New York Times he was worth more than $200 million.
Now longtime Trump observer/investigative reporter David Cay Johnston has found evidence that the real estate heir didn't pay federal income taxes in 1984 either. Johnston, writing in the Daily Beast, cites records from two tax appeal cases related to Trump's '84 returns that were heard in 1992. In the first case, Johnston found documentation that Trump had deducted $626,264 in expenses in 1984 but reported no income, a phenomenon the judge in the case found unusual:
“The record does not explain how Petitioner [Trump] had significant expenses without any concomitant income from his consulting business,” wrote H. Gregory Tillman, the city administrative law judge who heard the case on April 29 and May 28 of 1992.
Johnston notes that Trump also did not provide any—any!—documentation in the form of receipts or invoices to back up his expense claims.
That Trump would not have paid income taxes if he reported huge expenses and no income is a reasonable conclusion, one which Johnston confirmed via the second case heard in 1992:
Again the issue was 1984 deductions Trump took without providing any documentation to auditors or when Frank W. Barrie, a state administrative law judge, heard his appeal. It was in this appeal that the record shows Trump paid no income tax in 1984.
Trump said earlier this year that he would release his recent tax returns, as presidential nominees have customarily done for decades, but has since backtracked on that promise.