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New York Times: Does Donald Trump pay zero in taxes?

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Clinton tax returns 01:43

Real estate and tax professionals say that it's possible that Donald Trump has paid zero federal income tax in recent years, according to The New York Times.

That's the theory columnist James Stewart wrote about in the newspaper after speaking to a number of experts.

"It's both possible and legal that Donald Trump would pay little or no income tax," Len Green, an accountant and chairman of the Green Group, a tax and accounting advisory firm, told Stewart, the report said.

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Steven M. Rosenthal, a veteran tax lawyer and senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy, agreed that the GOP presidential nominee could be paying nothing.

"I would expect he's paying little or no tax," Rosenthal said, according to the report. "Real estate is notorious for throwing off huge deductions."

The federal tax code, the report notes, contains some of the most generous tax breaks for real estate developers that can allow them to reduce their reported income to near zero or report a loss.

This comes as Hillary Clinton released her 2015 tax returns on Friday. Trump, on the other hand, has refused to release his own because he claims that he is being audited and cannot release them during that process.

The Times points out that while President Richard Nixon refused to release his tax returns, every presidential candidate since then has done so.

Trump has dodged questions about whether he would release them before November's election.

A report from the New Jersey Division of Gambling Enforcement revealed in May that Trump paid no federal income taxes for at least two years during the 1970s. He took advantage of the tax code provision that allows developers to report negative income.

That month, he also said that his tax rate is "none of your business" when asked about it by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

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