Is there a way to pay nothing in taxes or pay less legally? Can you guys tell me more on this topic on how to pay less in taxes? How do entrepreneurs escape taxes legally?

  • 2
    I feel like "how did Trump pay almost nothing" and "is there a way to pay nothing/pay less" are different questions.
    – D M
    Dec 2, 2020 at 11:32
  • 2
    This question will probably be closed for a few reasons. Asking for book recommendations is off-topic, and if you remove that request, the rest of your question is probably too broad. Here is a question somewhat similar to yours that you might enjoy. And this question about a popular book addresses another part of your question, but make sure you read the warnings in the answers.
    – Ben Miller
    Dec 2, 2020 at 12:18
  • Not necessarily legal..... nytimes.com/2020/11/19/nyregion/…
    – yoozer8
    Dec 2, 2020 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


There are really only a few ways to legally pay less taxes:

  1. Earn less money (obviously)

  2. Take legal tax breaks such as 401k contributions, donate to non-profits, etc.

  3. Lose money (in the case of Trump, a LOT of money) running your business.

Trump specifically paid very little in taxes because he wrote off so much as "business expense" (plenty of other articles discuss this).

One should note that in order to claim a business expense, you have to spend money (much like donating to a non-profit). There is no legal way to magically "pay less". If you claim $100 in expenses, sure you don't have to pay taxes on that, but you have still spent $100.

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    And in Trump’s case specifically, he had so much in business losses that it offset just about all of his income. So point #3 might be “Lose a lot of money.”
    – Ben Miller
    Dec 2, 2020 at 14:58
  • @Ben Miller - Remember Monica: Though using Trump's activities as examples is perhaps not a good idea if you are looking for LEGAL ways to avoid taxes.
    – jamesqf
    Dec 2, 2020 at 17:30
  • if I invest in gov initiatives can I get a tax break? Dec 3, 2020 at 11:55
  • well #2 if your answer is the thing I needed to know Dec 3, 2020 at 11:58

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