President Donald Trump's businesses have suffered hundreds of millions of dollars over the past two decades, allowing him to minimize his federal income tax to $ 0, or nearly $ 0, for many years over that period. This emerges from a bombing report published by The New York Times on Sunday.
Trump paid just $ 750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and an additional $ 750 the following year, the newspaper reported, and none at all for 10 of the last 15 years.
The losses also weighed on Trump's finances, according to the newspaper. He is personally responsible for more than $ 420 million in debt, most of which will fall due within the next four years, according to the Times.
The report, which appears just two days before Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden meet on the 2020 contest's first general election debate, appears to be based on the most complete collection of the president's most recent tax returns ever compiled.
The Times said the story is the first of several, and more will be published in the coming weeks. Two of the reporters who wrote the story won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for an investigation into the president's finances based on previous tax records.
CNBC did not see the documents reviewed by the Times.
United States President Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a press conference in the James S. Brady Briefing Room at the White House on September 27, 2020 in Washington, United States.
Ken Cedeno | Reuters
Trump called the story "fake news" at a White House press conference held shortly after the story was published.
The Trump campaign provided no comment. The White House referred CNBC to Trump's private attorneys. A lawyer representing the President did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A Trump organization lawyer Alan Garten said in a statement to the Times that "most, if not all of the facts" reported by the newspaper appeared to be inaccurate.
"Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including millions in personal taxes, since he announced his candidacy in 2015," Garten said.
Trump has defied the precedent that every major presidential candidate has followed since the 1970s by refusing to publish his tax returns. He has given varying explanations for his refusal.
According to the Times, the tax records do not reveal any previously unknown links with Russia that have been widely speculated about. However, the records list questionable practices, including a $ 72.9 million tax refund under review by the Internal Revenue Service.
During his first two years in office, Trump raised $ 73 million from foreign sources, according to the Times.
The newspaper reported that most of that money came from his golf properties in Scotland and Ireland, although he also received $ 3 million from the Philippines, $ 2.3 million from India and $ 1 million from Turkey, according to the newspaper.
The Biden campaign did not immediately comment on the Times report.