Washington: US President Donald Trump has contradicted a recent media report that he paid only USD 750 in income tax in the year he contested as president. Trump claimed that he he paid millions of dollars by way of income tax, dubbing the reprot as 'wrong'.
During the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump about The New York Times report which claimed that the Republican leader paid USD 750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, and also he avoided federal taxes for years.
In a heated exchange with the incumbent, Biden said in the course of the debate "This guy paid a total of USD 750 in taxes," "That's wrong," Trump responded. "I paid millions of dollars in taxes. Millions of dollars of income tax," Trump replied, defending himself against the NYT report.
"And let me just tell you, there was a story in one of the papers," Trump said.
Biden interrupted, to challenge the president to show his tax papers.
"I paid USD 38 million one year. I paid USD 27 million one year. You'll see it as soon as it's finished. You'll see it," Trump said ,with Biden insisting on him showing his tax papers.
"You know if you wanted to, go to the Board of Elections. There's a 118 page or so report that says everything I have, every bank I have I'm totally underleveraged because the assets are extremely good and we have built a great company…," he said.
Trump explained that it was the tax laws.
"I don't want to pay tax. Before I came here I was a private developer. I was a private business person. Like every other private person unless they're stupid, they go through the laws and that's what it is," Trump said.
During the debate, Biden said that he would eliminate the Trump tax cuts once he became the president.
"Look, the tax code that put him in a position that he pays less tax than a school teacher make--on the money a school teacher makes is because of him taking--he says he's smart because he can take advantage of the tax code and he does take advantage of the tax code," he said.
"That's why I'm going to eliminate the Trump tax cuts and we're going to eliminate those tax cuts and make sure that we invest in the people who in fact need the help. People out there need help," he said.
Trump asked then why he did not do it in the last 20-25 years when he was in a position to do so resulting in the two entering into a verbal duel.
"Because you weren't president screwing things up," Biden replied. "You're the worst president America has ever had. Come on," he alleged.
(With input from PTI)