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Trump paid US$38m in taxes in 2005 -White House

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President Donald Trump paid US$38 million in federal taxes in 2005 on income of US$153 million and reported a US$105 million write-down in business losses, according to a copy of his tax return first revealed Tuesday night.

[WASHINGTON] President Donald Trump paid US$38 million in federal taxes in 2005 on income of US$153 million and reported a US$105 million write-down in business losses, according to a copy of his tax return first revealed Tuesday night.

Mr Trump paid an effective tax rate of 24 per cent and saved millions of dollars in additional taxes by claiming the losses, according to the document, the first two pages of which were obtained by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston and first reported by DC Report, a nonprofit news site he runs, and on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show."

The return shows that Trump paid US$36.5 million in income tax, of which about US$31 million was in the form of an "alternative minimum tax," a supplemental tax designed to cut down on filers with excessive deductions. He also paid about $1.5 million in Medicare and Social Security taxes.

The document offers a rare snapshot of Mr Trump's personal finances, considering he has refused to disclose his tax returns to the public. The White House issued a statement chastising MSNBC for reporting on Trump's taxes - "totally illegal," read the statement - but also confirming top-line numbers from the return and defending Mr Trump.

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Still, Mr Trump tweeted early Wednesday that the report was "FAKE NEWS" and asked: "Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, 'went to his mailbox' and found my tax returns?," Mr Trump tweeted. Trump's taxes were a major flash point in last year's campaign and continue to be a subject of intense scrutiny from Democrats and others who believe they would show whether he has financial relationships with any Russian entities.

The newly revealed pages from his 2005 return do not detail his financial ties, but they do seem to disprove the theory that some Democrats advanced in last year's campaign that Trump avoided paying any federal income taxes during that period.

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