The leaked 1995 tax returns of the Republican nominee Donald Trump show that he could have gone without paying taxes for 18 years, giving Democrat Hillary Clinton significant ground to raise this question again during the second presidential debate.

The loss that Trump declared in his tax returns of 1995 is so huge that he may not have had to pay income tax to the government for 18 years. According to the New York Times, Trump filed the documents when his business was struggling and they reveal the enormous tax benefits he gained from the financial wreckage.

The leaked documents show that Trump's business during the time, which was mostly hotels, casinos and an airline, was hit by a shocking loss of $916 million. It would have allowed the Republican nominee to use this loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.

The article revealed: "The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan."

This revelation is a huge blow to Trump's campaign, because it proves that Clinton's accusations against him during the first presidential debate were not misplaced. When Clinton asked him to release his tax returns like every other presidential candidate of recent years, Trump had responded by saying that he was able to evade paying taxes because he was "smart".