Warren Buffett to Trump: ‘I have paid federal income tax every year since 1944’

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Warren Buffett and Donald Trump.

NEW YORK – Warren Buffett schooled Donald Trump on Monday about the taxes of a billionaire.

“Mr. Trump says he knows more about taxes than any other human. He has not seen my income tax returns. But I am happy to give him the facts,” Buffett said in a statement.

Buffett was responding to an exchange in Sunday’s debate in which Clinton called on Trump to release his tax returns. Clinton has blasted Trump for using the tax code aggressively to avoid paying federal income tax.

“Many of her friends took bigger deductions. Warren Buffett took a massive deduction,” Trump said.

On Monday, Buffett said that in 2015, he reported an adjusted gross income of $11.6 million and took close to $5.5 million in total deductions. The majority of those (nearly $3.5 million) reflected allowable charitable contributions.

He went on to say that he paid nearly $1.9 million in federal income taxes last year.

Indeed, Buffett added, “I have paid federal income tax every year since 1944, when I was 13. (Though, being a slow starter, I owed only $7 in tax that year.) I have copies of all 72 of my returns and none uses a carryforward.”

Though Trump has yet to release any of his tax returns, the top pages of his state tax returns from 1995 were released anonymously. And they show he took $916 million net operating losses that he was carrying forward.

That loss could have been used to offset much of Trump’s tax liability for many years, potentially even reducing it to zero.

By Jeanne Sahadi