Warren Buffett Fact-Checks Trump on Taxes
Warren Buffett fact-checked Donald Trump on Monday on his claims that Buffett took a “massive” tax deduction.
The Hill reports:
Trump acknowledged during the debate that he used a $916 million loss in 1995 to avoid paying federal income taxes in future years. Trump has said he “brilliantly” used the tax code to legally benefit his company and its employees since the revelation of the loss and tax break was first reported by The New York times last weekend.
And on Sunday, he added that many of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton‘s donors also took “massive tax write offs.”
But Buffett, the billionaire investor who backs Clinton and has spoken out about the current tax code, said he has not used a carryforward to avoid paying federal income tax.
“I have paid federal income tax every year since 1944, when I was 13. (Though, being a slow starter, I owed only $7 in tax that year.) I have copies of all 72 of my returns and none uses a carryforward,” Buffett said in a statement.
The Berkshire Hathaway CEO said Trump had not seen his tax returns when he made his allegation on Sunday, and Buffett provided information about his most recent return in his statement.
He said his adjusted gross income on his 2015 tax return was about $11.6 million, and he had deductions totaling about $5.5 million. Most of the deductions were for allowable charitable contributions and state income taxes. He also said he made more than $2.85 billion in charitable contributions in 2015 that were not taken as charitable deductions because there of limits on deductions under tax law.
Buffett said he paid about $1.8 million in federal income taxes in 2015. His tax rates, deductions and charitable contributions were similar in prior years, he said.
Buffett also took a dig at Trump for failing to release his tax returns. Trump has said he won’t do so until the IRS finishes auditing him, even though the IRS has said that an audit does not prevent an individual from making such information public.
Buffett, who is currently being audited himself said, “I have no problem releasing my tax information under audit. Neither would Mr. Trump — at least he would have no legal problem.”
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