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- Former president Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump reported negative adjusted gross income for four out of the six years from 2015 to 2020.
- That’s according to newly released joint income tax returns for these years.
- An IRS report shows it’s not that common for taxpayers to report adjusted gross income below $1.
Almost all American taxpayers end up reporting positive income to the Internal Revenue Service each year. That wasn’t the case for former president Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump in four of the six years between 2015 and 2020.
That’s according to tax returns released by the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday.
While adjusted gross income was positive in both 2018 and 2019 as seen in a summary table published on December 21 from The New York Times, that wasn’t the case for the other years in this time range.
The tax returns, as well as a previous report prepared by the Joint Committee on Taxation that included the former first couple’s adjusted gross income for 2015 to 2020, both highlight just how much income was reported to the IRS by Trump.
In 2020, the total income was -$4,694,058 and adjusted gross income was -$4,795,757. That follows after the tax return for 2019 shows a total income of $4,443,503 and an adjusted gross income of $4,380,714.
Trump’s tax return isn’t the only one in 2020 that shows a negative adjusted gross income. However, according to a figure published in the Internal Revenue Service’s Individual Income Tax Returns Complete Report, there aren’t that many returns that report less than $1 compared to several higher adjusted gross income ranges.
The following chart shows how many individual income tax returns there were for tax year 2020 by adjusted gross income.
As seen in the chart, about 5.3 million returns had AGI of under $1, including those with negative AGI, out of the roughly 164 million total returns filed that year. In contrast, there were over 30 million returns with adjusted gross income from $50,000 to under $100,000 and just about 30 million returns with adjusted gross income of $30,000 to under $50,000.
This relatively lower figure for those returns with AGI under $1 can be seen not just in 2020 but other previous years. That includes in tax year 2015 when Trump’s return also shows a negative AGI and total income.
The political impact of the returns remains to be seen, as tax experts begin to pore through the newly released documents.
“The Democrats should have never done it, the Supreme Court should have never approved it, and it’s going to lead to horrible things for so many people,” Trump said in a statement on Friday. “The great USA divide will now grow far worse.”
As Insider’s Rebecca Cohen reported, Democratic Virginia Rep. Don Beyer, who is part of the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement after the release of the newly released tax returns that Trump “abused the power of his office to block basic transparency on his finances and conflicts of interest.”
“Despite promising to release his tax returns, Donald Trump refused to do so, and abused the power of his office to block basic transparency on his finances and conflicts of interest which no president since Nixon has foregone,” Beyer said. “Trump acted as though he had something to hide, a pattern consistent with the recent conviction of his family business for criminal tax fraud. As the public will now be able to see, Trump used questionable or poorly substantiated deductions and a number of other tax avoidance schemes as justification to pay little or no federal income tax in several of the years examined.”
Another member of the Committee released a statement last week. According to a press release, Rep. Lloyd Doggett has “been pressing since February 2017 for Trump’s taxes.”
“Trump claimed tens of millions of dollars in losses and credits without the type of substantiation an ordinary taxpayer would likely provide,” Doggett said.