Final Presidential Debate: Can You Prepay Your Taxes as Donald Trump Said?

During the final presidential debate, President Donald Trump was pressed by moderator Kristen Welker about his taxes. This comes as Trump has been facing questions about his taxes, between what he paid and how the amount he reportedly paid could possibly be true, after The New York Times report. In his response, Trump explained that he prepaid his taxes.

He brought up the $750 that the report said he had in taxes, “I asked them, what did I pay? They said, ‘Sir, you prepaid tens of millions of dollars. I prepaid my taxes… I prepaid because at some point they think it’s an estimate.” He admitted that he wasn’t told by his accountant that he was actually paying his taxes beforehand then said that the $750 was a filing fee.

After hearing these comments, viewers and social media erupted at his claims about prepaying taxes. Many wondered if it’s actually possible to do this. According to the IRS, people are allowed to send estimated tax payments with a 1040-ES form and provide estimates of income, exemptions and any taxes withheld. These prepayments are done quarterly. Prepaying income taxes are typically reserved for people who are self-employed. That being said, even if someone were to prepay taxes, the total number would be shown on the final tax filing, which is at the root of Trump’s tax scandal as The New York Times claims he only paid $750 in taxes. Trump has yet to release his tax returns, which would show the number he paid -- prepaid or not -- to which Trump did say he wants to do so as soon as he gets clearance.

While his taxes will remain at the forefront of the discussion, the final debate saw the coronavirus handling and how it will be taken care of heading into the flu season become the biggest talking point. Coronavirus numbers are going up across the country, more than half of the country has seen numbers spike and some even seeing record-highs. Trump said a vaccine is coming soon, continuing to echo that one will come before the end of the year despite what experts have suggested about a vaccine coming in 2021 and not being readily available to everyone.