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By the numbers: How much Donald Trump paid in taxes each year from 2015 to 2020

The former president’s taxes have fluctuated over the years

Eric Garcia
Washington DC
Saturday 31 December 2022 01:11 GMT
Trump tax returns: What do we know?

The House Ways & Means Committee released six years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns on Friday, a culmination of a years-long legal battle wherein Mr Trump attempted to stymie efforts to reveal his taxes.

Throughout his time running for president in the 2016 campaign, Mr Trump said he would not release his tax returns because he was being audited. That led to the committee, which writes major tax law and is led by Chairman Richard Neal, to engage in a legal battle beginning in 2019, when Democrats won the majority in the House of Representatives.

Last month, the Supreme Court denied the former president’s attempt to shield his tax returns from Congress. Last week, the Joint Committee on Taxation released a report with details about how much the former president paid in taxes for the six years of returns. Below is a breakdown of how much he paid.


Mr Trump announced that he would seek the 2016 Republican nomination for president in 2015. While many presidential candidates since Richard Nixon have released their tax returns, Mr Trump did not do so.

That year, the future president had a net loss of $31,736,841 and claimed a total of $1,485,739 in tax credits. As a result, he paid only $641,931 in federal income taxes. The 2015 form was not subjected to a mandatory audit that president’s tax returns typically must undergo. In addition, the Joint Committee on Taxation report from the committee noted that 13 of the 27 businesses for which Mr Trump was considered a sole proprietor reported only expenses and no income.

“As another example, one Schedule C for Donald J. Trump (speaking) reported gross income of $50,000, which was almost entirely offset by $46,162 of travel expenses. Audits of closely-held entities often find personal expenditures being improperly deducted as business expenses,” the report said.

2016 and 2017

Numerous news outlets have reported how Mr Trump paid $750 in 2016 and 2017, the latter of which was his first year as president.

In 2016, he lost $32,190,169 in income and in 2017, he had a total income loss of $12,819,400. The New York Times first reported the numbers in 2020, when they found that in 2016, his US tax bill was significantly smaller than the $15,598 he and his companies paid in Panama. The joint committee’s report said that the 2016 return was the only one subject to a mandatory audit.


In 2018, Mr Trump earned a total of $24,395,093, as opposed to previous years when he reportedly lost income. As a result, he paid a net federal income tax of $999,466, which is roughly four per cent of his income from that year.

In that year, of the three Schedule C companies reported only expenses and no income. Mr Trump’s management services reported only taxes and licenses expenses of $38,764. Similarly, DT Endeavor I, an aviation company, reported a net loss of $274,381.


In 2019, Mr Trump had a total income of $4,443,503 and he paid $133,445 in federal income taxes, or only three per cent of his total income. In April of this year, the IRS informed Mr Trump and Ms Trump that their 2019 form had been selected for examination, alongside those of DJT Holdings LLC.

The committee’s report said that Mr Trump reported $504,700 in charitable contributions, but it would “would inquire as to whether the large cash contributions were supported by required substantiation.” Peculiarly, in this report, the numbers for expenses and income for Ms Trump’s Schedule C for her modeling were identical at $3,848 each.


In Mr Trump’s last year in office, he lost money once again, shedding $4,694,058 in total income. That same year, he also received a refund of $5,468,593. In addition, Mr Trump reported zero charitable contributions, despite saying he would give his presidential salary to charity every year.

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