In case you were wondering, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services says it’s checked, and there is no evidence that the Donald J. Trump tax returns obtained by the New York Times came from DRS.
“As soon as I saw that, I thought we better check,” said Kevin B. Sullivan, the commissioner of revenue services.
One obvious indicator that DRS was not the source: The Times’ says it was sent portions of Trump’s returns from New York, where he is a resident, and non-resident returns from Connecticut and New Jersey. Connecticut would not possess the New York or New Jersey returns, Sullivan said.
Another indicator: Connecticut’s tax records from 1995 are on microfiche, not paper. The documents made public by the Times did not appear to be printed from microfilm.
The Times reported Saturday that Trump reported a loss of nearly $916 million on his 1995 tax returns, an amount so huge it could have allowed him to avoid paying any federal income taxes for 18 years. The Connecticut portion of the losses approached a rounding error: $422,943 of $915,789,553.
The documents did not indicate the source of Trump’s losses in Connecticut.
The bulk of the losses were attributed by the Times to “the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.”
Sullivan, a Democrat and the former leader of the Connecticut Senate, called the details of the Times’ story a wakeup call about the extent to which losses in one tax year can be carried forward.
“The federal tax code can be manipulated to avoid taxation even while making lots of money,” Sullivan. “That’s all the worse because the burden then trickles down to all the other taxpayers who do not have the resources to game the system.”
The Times reported there was no indication Trump had violated the law. The Trump campaign declined comment on the documents, which were verified as genuine by Trump’s former accountant, and it reached for a silver lining in the story:
“Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President, and he is the only one that knows how to fix it.”