Trump: billion dollar losses were ‘for tax purposes’

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Ivana and Donald Trump in 1989 when his businesses were losing millions every year

President Trump has said the losses his business made in the eighties and nineties were “for tax purposes”.

He was tweeting in reply to a New York Times article that claimed that from 1985-95 he made losses of over $1bn.

The newspaper said that Mr Trump’s property empire from 1985 “continued to lose money every year, totalling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade”.

Mr Trump tweeted “You always wanted to show losses… and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport.”

The New York Times wrote: “Year after year, Mr Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found when it compared his results with detailed information the [Inland Revenue Service] compiles on an annual sampling of high-income earners.

“His core business losses in 1990 and 1991 — more than $250 million each year — were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S. information for those years.”

Mr Trump replied in his tweet: “Real estate developers in the 1980’s & 1990’s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases. Much was non monetary. Sometimes considered ‘tax shelter,’ you would get it by building, or even buying. “