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Circus Trumpsimus

Trump may have avoided taxes for up to 18 years

Republican Donald Trump reported a $916 million loss on his 1995 tax returns that he could have used to avoid paying federal income taxes for 18 years to come, The New York Times reported Saturday, by canceling out equivalent income to the tune of $50 million per year for nearly two decades. The losses stemmed primarily from poor management of three casinos, his purchase of New York's Plaza Hotel, and the failed Trump Airlines.

The analysis is based on three pages of Trump's 1995 tax returns that were mailed anonymously to a Times reporter and verified by Jack Mitnick, the accountant who prepared Trump's taxes until 1996. The tax experts who reviewed the documents made clear they do not suggest any illegal behavior and noted the Internal Revenue Service would have subjected Trump's returns to extra scrutiny because he posted such a large loss.

The Trump campaign released a statement neither confirming nor denying the newspaper's conclusions but charging that the tax documents were "illegally obtained" and their publication evidence of media bias. Trump himself tweeted, "I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them. #failing @nytimes." Trump remains the only major party nominee since 1972 to keep his tax returns private.