Can Depreciation Explain the Magnitude of Trump’s Reported Losses?

Tax experts say that while it’s technically possible, it’s probably not the full story.

Last week the New York Times made waves reporting, after combing through a decade’s worth of tax transcripts that it obtained, that Donald Trump reported $1.17 billion in losses in the years 1985 to 1994.

“In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly 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. His core business losses in 1990 and 1991 — more than $250 million each year — were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S. information for those years, according to the newspaper.

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