Warren Buffett responds to Donald Trump's accusations
Donald Trump refuses to release his tax returns
While there is no law stating that US presidential candidates have to release their tax returns, it has been the practice since 1980. Donald Trump, however, has refused to release his tax returns for public scrutiny, leading to speculations about what he might be hiding.
Trump's comments on Warren Buffett
During the debate, one of the hosts, Anderson Cooper, had asked Trump directly if he had used his reported loss of $916 million in 1995 to avoid income taxes, and Trump had admitted it.
He, however, went on to accuse other billionaires like Warren Buffett and George Soros, from whom Hillary Clinton was getting most of her donations, of having done the same.
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Donald Trump's tax deducations
There is a US tax provision which allows businessmen to deduct their business losses from their personal income taxes. Therefore, Donald Trump could have avoided paying upto $50 million a year in taxes for 18 years to compensate for his $916 million losses in 1995.
Warren Buffett's tax return
Responding to Donald Trump's comments, Warren Buffett released his tax return for 2015.
Buffett's tax return showed that from his adjusted gross income of $11.6 million, he had taken only a $5.5 million tax deduction, of which $3.5 million reflected his $2.85 billion donation for charitable causes.
The document further showed that Buffett had paid $1,845,557 as federal income taxes for 2015.
Warren Buffett's history with income taxes
Warren Buffett categorically states, "I have paid federal income tax every year since 1944, when I was 13. I have copies of all 72 of my tax returns and none uses a carryforward". In 1944, Buffett paid $7 in taxes to support World War II.