GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is being criticized for possibly avoiding paying federal income taxes for more than a decade.
2 Wants to Know - how is that possible and is it legal?
According to tax documents the New York Times got a hold of, Trump reported losses of about $916 million in 1995. Tax laws allow Trump and others to carry over certain losses year after year after year. The loss will then be offset by future earnings.
That means, if Trump didn't make enough money to cover his initial loss, it makes sense and is perfectly legal that he wouldn't pay taxes for several years.
"Basically, he has a tax savings rolling forward and that tax loss, or capital loss, will offset capital income rolling forward each year until it is used up," said Kevin Robinson, Owner, Robinson Tax and Accounting Services.
The New York Times is estimating he wouldn't have to pay for 18 years because the IRS lets these losses be carried back 3 years and forward 15.
Accountant Kevin Robinson says he has customers who aren't millionaires who use this tax advantage every year.
"I think the thing to think about is you have a tax savings. If you lose more than you make, you have a tax savings each year."
If Trump didn't pay federal income taxes for several years, it is legal. It's the way our system is set up. This doesn't mean he didn't pay taxes at all. He still likely paid property tax, payroll tax and other business taxes.