Trump Paid Nearly $200,000 In Taxes To China

Topline

A report from the New York Times reveals a decade of Donald Trump’s unsuccessful business activities in China, including an undisclosed bank account that paid nearly $200,000 in taxes, undermining his own exaggerated claims of Hunter Biden’s business dealings there, as well as his rhetoric that his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, is soft on the country.   

Key Facts

Tax records analyzed by the New York Times reveal a decade of unsuccessful business activity in China by the president, including an unreported bank account that paid $188,561 in taxes between 2013 and 2015.

The account does not show up on Trump’s public financial disclosures as it is not a personal asset, but instead controlled by Trump International Hotels Management. 

A lawyer for the Trump Organization told the Times that the account was opened to pay taxes after opening an office in China to “explore the potential for hotel deals in Asia.”

No deals, or other business activities, were ever made, the lawyer said. 

The records also show that Trump invested at least $192,000 to pursue business in China, including creating five companies specifically designed to pursue that goal.

These companies have claimed at least $97,400 in business expenses since 2010, the Times said.

Key Background

Recent reporting by the Times, who obtained years of the president’s tax records, shows the president paid only $750 in federal income taxes for the years 2016 and 2017, spending years previously avoiding paying any federal income tax at all because he lost more money than he’d made. The revelation of foreign bank accounts, which also include those in Britain and Ireland, are likely to raise further questions over the president’s finances. A decade of dealings in China, successful or otherwise, are likely to raise further questions over the president’s conflicts, particularly as the president has consistently attacked China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and exacerbated an ongoing trade war by blacklisting major Chinese tech firms.

Further Reading

Trump Records Shed New Light on Chinese Business Pursuits (New York Times)

The President’s Taxes (New York Times)

Yes, Donald Trump Is Still A Billionaire. That Makes His $750 Tax Payment Even More Scandalous (Forbes)

Donald Trump Has At Least $1 Billion In Debt, More Than Twice The Amount He Suggested (Forbes)

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