The Joe Biden campaign website now features a "Trump Tax Calculator" based on the explosive New York Times report about Trump's tax history published this weekend. The webpage allows users to enter a sample of their own tax history and compare how much they paid with how much President Donald Trump paid. The tool emphasizes how little Trump has contributed to the U.S. government.
The Trump Tax Calculator features gold lettering over a black backdrop — possibly meant to mock Trump's lavish aesthetic. It asks Americans to enter the amount of income taxes they paid in the year 2017, noting that the average is $11,165.39. It then subtracts Trump's $750 income tax from your number, revealing the difference. The average is $10,415.39. The page repeatedly refers to Trump as a "billionaire" in sarcastic quotations.
"Mad? Us too," the bottom of the website reads. "Join our campaign to elect Joe Biden and make 'billionaires' like Donald Trump pay their fair share."
Trump's tax filings have been a guarded secret since before he took office, as most U.S. presidents and presidential candidates release their personal finances as a matter of transparency. Trump refused for years, but the Times obtained 18 years' worth of Trump's tax documents over the weekend. Their report noted that the filings only showed what Trump and his organization reported to the IRS, not what they may have hidden or obfuscated.
The results were still shocking. In 11 out of the 18 years examined, Trump paid no federal income taxes whatsoever. In 2016 and 2017, he paid just $750 per year. The filings also revealed that Trump is deeply in debt to the IRS and to private lenders, and is embroiled in a legal battle over an IRS audit that could have dire consequences for him.
Trump reportedly kept his income taxes low by claiming an enormous amount of dubious write-offs, passing personal luxuries off as "business expenses." This includes most of his personal residences — which are technically owned by his company, not himself — his personal aircraft and other transportation, and even his infamous haircuts, which cost $70,000 during the time of The Apprentice.
This added up to a tax refund of about $72.9 million in 2010, but those exorbitant refunds drew the attention of the IRS. The agency may soon take Trump to a federal court over these expense disputes, making all of his finances a matter of public record. If he loses, Trump will owe the IRS this refund back with interest, meaning he would be on the hook for $100 million. The Times estimates his current personal wealth at about $873,000 based on the tax documents, so he would likely not be able to pay this.