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Donald Trump could have avoided income tax payments for up to 18 years: The New York Times

A declared loss of $916 million in 1995 would have been large enough for the US presidential candidate to not pay duties on $50 million a year.

United States presidential nominee Donald Trump could have legally avoided paying income taxes for up to 18 years, The New York Times reported on Saturday. Documents accessed by the daily showed that the Republican Party candidate declared a loss of $916 million (approximately Rs 6,096.5 crore) in 1995, which would have allowed him to access tax benefits to avoid paying income taxes on up to $50 million (approximately Rs 332.7 crore) every year.

Trump would have been able to utilise those benefits despite his businesses being in better financial shape, according to the Times. Tax analysts hired by the daily to go through his records said the businessman had a “vast benefit” from the “destruction” of his ventures, which included an airline as well as the casino and hotel business. The loss would have also allowed the nominee to not pay taxes on the money he was paid for hosting television show The Apprentice.

Trump’s campaign did not comment on the documents accessed by the paper and said the politician had paid “hundreds of millions of dollars” in various kinds of taxes, including property, sales and real estate. “Mr. Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President,” the campaign added. A lawyer for Trump threatened to take “appropriate legal action” against the newspaper, arguing that it was illegal on their part to publish the information.

The paper, which has endorsed Trump’s Democratic Party rival Hillary Clinton for president, has called the Republican politician “the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history”. The election campaign has seen Trump scrutinised for his refusal to reveal his tax returns, which he has said are being audited by the US Internal Revenue Service. He has also been accused of xenophobic, racist and sexist comments.

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The actors too adapted their performance from the demands of the theatre to the requirements of a studio. While in the theatre, performers have to project their voice to reach a thousand odd members in the live audience, they now had the flexibility of being more understated. Namit Das, a popular television actor, who acts in the CinePlay ‘Bombay Talkies’ says, “It’s actually a film but yet we keep the characteristics of the play alive. For the camera, I can say, I need to tone down a lot.” Vickram Kapadia’s ‘Bombay Talkies’ takes the audience on a roller coaster ride of emotions as seven personal stories unravel through powerful monologues, touching poignant themes such as child abuse, ridicule from a spouse, sacrifice, disillusionment and regret.

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Besides the advantages of cinematic techniques, many of the artists also believe it will add to the longevity of plays and breathe new life into theatre as a medium. Adhir Bhat, the writer of ‘Sometimes’ says, “You make something and do a certain amount of shows and after that it phases out, but with this it can remain there.”

This should be welcome news, even for traditionalists, because unlike mainstream media, theatre speaks in and for alternative voices. Many of the plays in the collection are by Vijay Tendulkar, the man whose ability to speak truth to power and society is something a whole generation of Indians have not had a chance to experience. That alone should be reason enough to cheer for the whole project.

Play

Hotstar, India’s largest premium streaming platform, stands out with its Originals bouquet bringing completely new formats and stories, such as these plays, to its viewers. Twenty timeless stories from theatre will be available to its subscribers. Five CinePlays, “Between the lines”, “The Job”, “Sometimes”, “Bombay Talkies” and “Typecast”, are already available and a new one will release every week starting March. To watch these on Hotstar Premium, click here.

This article was produced on behalf of Hotstar by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.