At a time when
In the early 1990s, Trump convinced financial backers to forgive large debts he could not repay, the paper wrote. But he avoided having to report the canceled debts as income because he gave the backers equity in his partnerships that owned the casinos, effectively writing off the income.
Trump’s attorneys advised him at the time that if he were audited, the
Trump declined to comment on the report, and his spokeswoman dismissed it as "either a fundamental misunderstanding or an intentional misreading of the law."
On the campaign trail, Trump has bragged about his ability to use tax loopholes and said his knowledge of the flaws in the tax structure made him the most capable to fix it.
But most of Trump's claims about his taxes and income are not independently verifiable because he has refused to release his tax returns, bucking four decades of practice among presidential nominees.
Democrats have argued that his lack of transparency is because the returns contain something Trump would like to keep secret, either that he isn't as wealthy as he claims, that he didn't give as much to charity as he says he did, or that he has controversial overseas ties.