Per the 1995 tax return, Trump had $900+ million of losses to carry forward, so why did he pay $38 million of tax on $150 million of income in 2005?
It appears he was “screwed” by the AMT.But without seeing all of the statements referenced in Trump’s 2021 form 1040 as well as the previous years, it’s hard to say for sure exactly how he ended up paying $36 million federal income tax on a net income of $49 million.In particular I would want to see his schedule A, schedule D, his schedule E and his schedule C and all other attached documentation including his STATEMENT 1, referring to and presumably detailing his operating losses of $103 million that year.However - Trump payed an ordinary tax rate of about 12% on the net income of $49 million minus deductions of $17 million, and the rest was payed as Alternative Minimum Tax, which is written down on line 44 of his 1040.The real mystery to me is how he managed to pay a rate of 12% on his net income, given that the top marginal rate was actually about 36% that year, and Trump’s AGI should be in the range where he is very nearly reaching that overall asymptotic tax rate, even after deductions. That, I don’t understand.He’s paying a rate which approaches. actually it’s better than, the rates which Mitt Romney achieved in 2010–2011, only Romney had much of his income in the form of carried interest, dividends and investments. So a lot of Romney’s income was taxed at the most favorable capital gains rate. Romney’s net income was much smaller and he had only a relatively small income from personal businesses. So far as I know Trump could not take advantage of the most favorable tax treatment for more than the $32 million that he declared in capital gains on his 1040.For example - suppose that Trump had claimed no losses and taken only the standard deduction in 2005.Then it looks as if his income should have required him to pay 36% of $150 million, or about $50 million. He did considerably better than that, but he still ended up paying a rate of about 25% on his gross income. So one might ask: Why did Trump choose to write off such a large loss in 2005?He had 18 years. starting in 1995, during which he could still carry that $900 million loss forward. $900 million / 18 = $50 million on average. So what accounts for the rest of that $103 million?Perhaps this year has a larger write off just because Trump had much more income to play with that year. Or perhaps there are other losses involved. It’s hard to say without seeing Statement 1.Trump listed about $17 million in itemized deductions. Much of that may have been disallowed under the AMT, and in addition he was not allowed to apply the full $103 million that he claimed in net operating losses. He had to add all of that income back in, when he started calculating his AMT. You will have noticed that we don’t have the tax preparer’s worksheet and we don’t have Trump’s form 6251.Alternative Minimum Tax: Common Questionshttps://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/...(See line 10 of IRS 6251 above.)$70 million of the $150 million gross income was declared under real estate and S corporations, etcetera ‡ the rules become very complex there.What can be said, if this is indeed an authentic document and this form is the same as the form that he submitted to the IRS, that it was not altered before being signed and submitted, and he actually payed all that tax, is that his income tax form in 2021 does not look like the income tax form of either a good businessman or a multi-billionaire, and certainly not a TEN BILLIONAIRE, as Trump claimed to be, in all caps, in his Federal Election Commission financial disclosure forms recently.Based on the taxable interest income that he declared on that form I would put his holdings in cash or short term bonds in 2021 at about $200 million. Based on his gross income, it is just barely plausible that he was worth a total $1 billion that year.But I would put it lower, I would take his net income and subtract the tax he payed. That puts him at about $13 million in net earnings for the year. Multiply that by a factor of ten, and add it to his holdings in cash and short term bonds and I would say he was probably worth on the order of $300–400 million that year, and those are likely pretty hard numbers. That’s a minimum.I would say he was worth $1 billion assuming that the $49 million represents a total 5% return on his net worth.If he was worth $10 billion that year, then $49 million would represent a pitiful return on investment. Furthermore, if he were a multi-billionaire, I would expect to see far more of his net worth being actively invested, say in stocks (the stock market was up 12% in 2021 and 5% in 2005), than there is evidence of on that form. He had only $32 million in realized capital gains.He should have been able to make $500 million on ten billion dollars in that year without even thinking.It just doesn’t add up. It takes a very long time to get to $10 BILLION even on a net annual income of $150 million.In all likelihood 2021 was one of Trump’s best years. This form has probably been been released by Trump himself or sources close to Trump because the news is going badly for him of late and he probably thought it would be a good time to rehabilitate the buzz about him being wealthier than God himself right now.But we really need 30 years worth of his tax returns with all supporting documentation to begin to say with any degree of certainty what he might be worth. Nothing less will suffice.The most interesting information of course would be what were the sources of income and what corporations and entities are named.