Tax figures show Trump's businesses had heavy losses throughout the 1980s

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Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano on the controversy over President Trump's tax practices from 1985 to 1994. The report was based on tax records the newspaper said it had obtained.

"You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes. nearly all real estate developers did - and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport", Trump said in a post on Twitter on Wednesday.

Mr Trump broke with more than 40 years of tradition by refusing to release his tax returns before the 2016 election.

Until now, Trump's early career in real estate was believed to have reached a peak in the late 1980s, when Trump wrote the "The Art of the Deal" - and then collapsed into loss and debt in 1990 and 1991.

"That was written in the tax law to enable people like Donald Trump to engage in speculation to buy and sell businesses because in the act the buying and selling he's employing a lot of people and he's energizing the economy".

On Monday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused a request by the Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee for Trump's tax returns.

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Year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than almost any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found when it compared his results with detailed information the I.R.S. compiles on an annual sampling of high-income earners.

The Times reported that at certain times during the decade depicted in Trump's returns, "Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than almost any other individual American taxpayer, ".

Released online last night with the alternate title "Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses", it's a rather breathtaking read.

He was tweeting in reply to a New York Times (NYT) article claiming that from 1985-95 he made losses of over $US1bn.

Meanwhile, as Trump defended as commonplace what he called the creation of a "tax shelter" for himself, other tax experts use a different name for it: tax dodging.

Because most of his businesses were not created as partnerships, Trump was on the hook for federal income taxes. He went on to say that the Times report "is a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!"

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