Number of the Day Shows Who Might Pay $750 in Income Tax

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Number of the Day

That’s the adjusted gross income of a person who might expect to pay around $750 in federal income taxes in a year, the same amount President Donald Trump allegedly paid in 2016 and again in 2017, according to a New York Times investigation.

U.S. taxpayers who had $20,000 to $25,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI) in 2017 were liable on average for $1,148 in income taxes that year, while the next-lowest bracket—taxpayers with $15,000-$20,000 in AGI—owed an average of $671, according to the IRS. Trump, according to the Times, paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both the 2016 and 2017 tax years, though his returns were anything but simple, the paper reported, citing extensive tax return data it had obtained. In 10 of the previous 15 years, the Times said, he paid no income taxes at all, primarily because he reported losing much more than he earned. His “total income” for 2017 was a loss of $12.8 million, according to one Times report. 

Trump disputes the Times reporting, and when pressed about it at the presidential debate Tuesday night, pointedly said he’d paid “millions of dollars” in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

For perspective, manicurists, housekeeping cleaners, and home health aides were among the occupations with a mean annual wage of around $25,000 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Adjusted gross income, however, is defined as your total income minus particular deductions, such as student loan interest, alimony, and retirement contributions.

Article Sources

  1. Internal Revenue Service. "SOI Tax Stats - Individual Statistical Tables by Size of Adjusted Gross Income." Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.

  2. New York Times. "Long-Concealed Records Show Trump's Chronic Losses and Years of Tax Avoidance." Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.

  3. New York Times. "Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Taxes in 2017. Here’s the Math." Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.

  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "May 2017 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States." Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.