Speed Reads

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Here's the real takeaway from Trump's 2005 tax return

Despite widespread disappointment over MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's handling of a scoop about President Trump's 2005 tax return, Vox points out that there is one big takeaway from all the hullabaloo: Trump "has proposed a tax plan that would have made his tax bill much, much lower."

It all comes down to the alternative minimum tax, which acts as a counterweight to wealthy people's deductions, credits, and the like. "The AMT added $31.3 million to [Trump's] total tax bill [in 2005], bringing his overall effective tax rate to about 25 percent," Vox writes, up from what otherwise would have been an effective tax rate of less than 3.5 percent.

As president, Trump has proposed eliminating the AMT altogether, which his tax returns show would have personally saved him $31.3 million in 2005. Additionally, because Trump's companies are "pass-throughs," meaning that shareholders are taxed on the income rather than the company paying corporate income tax, Trump's proposal to bring down pass-through income taxes would also have helped him personally save money.

As Vox puts it, the 2005 tax return shows that "Republican tax reform efforts won't just benefit Donald Trump the way they benefit all rich people. He would be helped an unusual amount, owing to the particulars of his tax situation, with his high AMT burden, and large amount of pass-through income." Read the entire analysis at Vox.