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NYT: Trump claim on prepaying millions in federal taxes 'misleading at best'

NYT: Trump claim on prepaying millions in federal taxes 'misleading at best'
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The New York Times reported late Monday that President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE's claim that he has prepaid millions of dollars in federal income taxes is "misleading at best." 

The president's defense "serves to distract from the reality — unaddressed in any of his public statements — that he has paid little or no federal income taxes most years, largely because his business losses far outweighed his profits," Times reporters Susanne Craig and Mike McIntire wrote in a piece aimed at fact-checking Trump's argument. The article was published hours before Election Day. 

The Times in September reported, based on tax records of the president that it has obtained, that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes for each of 2016 and 2017, and paid zero in federal income taxes in many of the preceding years.

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Trump has pushed back on the Times's reporting. In the final presidential debate last month, and subsequently on social media, Trump said that he has prepaid millions in federal income taxes.

The Times reported that Trump has made estimated tax payments during the year, including when he requests extensions to file his tax returns. For example, Trump made estimated payments of $1 million for 2016 and $4.2 million for 2017 when he requested extensions. 

However, Trump's estimated payments were generally not needed ultimately, and were either refunded or applied to potential taxes in future years, the Times reported.

Trump is the first president in decades to not make any of his federal tax returns public. He has said he hasn't disclosed his returns because of an audit, but the IRS says that audits don't preclude people from releasing their own tax information.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFear of insider attack prompts additional FBI screening of National Guard troops: AP Iran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries MORE has released a number of years of his tax returns, and he has pressed Trump to do the same.