Warren Buffett Slams Donald Trump Over His Tax Returns

Wednesday, 12 October 2016, 04:07 Hrs
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WASHINGTON: Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, on Tuesday slammed Donald Trump for his remarks on him taking a "massive" deduction to avoid federal income tax, releasing his own tax information and challenging the controversial real estate tycoon to do likewise.

Mr Buffett, 86, an investor and a philanthropist, in a statement, said that he has paid income tax since 1944 when he was just 13. At that time, he owed only USD 7 in tax that year.

He said he has no problem in releasing his tax information while under audit.

Mr Buffett also released details of his own taxes and reiterated his call for Mr Trump to release his tax returns.

The unusual statement from Mr Buffett came a day after the Republican presidential nominee during the second presidential debate in St Louis, alleged that he also could have had taken "massive deductions" in his income tax returns.

"Answering a question last night about his USD 916 million income tax loss carryforward in 1995, Donald Trump stated that 'Warren Buffett took a massive deduction', Trump says he knows more about taxes than any other human. He has not seen my income tax returns. But I am happy to give him the facts," Mr Buffett said in a statement.

Warren Buffett, who has endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, said his 2015 return shows adjusted gross income of USD 11,563,931.

"My deductions totaled USD 5,477,694, of which allowable charitable contributions were USD 3,469,179. All but USD 36,037 of the remainder was for state income taxes," he said.

"The total charitable contributions I made during the year were USD 2,858,057,970, of which more than USD 2.85 billion were not taken as deductions and never will be. Tax law properly limits charitable deductions. My federal income tax for the year was USD 1,845,557. Returns for previous years are of a similar nature in respect to contributions, deductions and tax rates," he added.

"I have copies of all 72 of my returns and none uses a carry forward," he claimed.

"Finally, I have been audited by the IRS multiple times and am currently being audited. I have no problem in releasing my tax information while under audit. Neither would Trump - at least he would have no legal problem," Mr Buffett said.

Mr Trump has not released his income tax returns so far, even as is the tradition for presidential candidates to do so.

He said that he will release his returns only after the ongoing audit of his tax returns are complete.

Recently The New York Times in a report said that Mr Trump might not have had paid federal income tax for about 18 years.

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