Two pages of the tax document were obtained by David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, and he first reported about it Tuesday evening on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show."
The revelation provides the most recent glimpse at Trump's income. Last fall, the New York Times reported that Trump reported a massive $916 million loss in 1995, which enabled him to avoid paying income taxes for decades.
Trump repeatedly has refused to release his income tax returns, breaking with four decades of tradition for presidential nominees, claiming that he has been under audit.
The Washington Post could not independently verify the 2005 return, but a statement from the White House indicated that it is authentic. The statement, issued to reporters anonymously to be attributed to a White House spokesperson, accused MSNBC of unlawfully releasing Trump's tax returns.
"You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago," the statement said. It added that Trump, as "one of the most successful businessmen in the world," paid "no more tax than legally required."
The statement went on to say: "Mr. Trump paid $38 million dollars even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $150 million dollars, as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and this illegally published return proves just that. Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the President will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans."
Taxpayers requesting many itemized deductions must pay the AMT in certain circumstances. The AMT rejects specific deductions, including for dependents and assorted real-estate write-downs. In his tax-reform plan, Trump has called for eliminating the AMT.
Trump's current finances are set to face a new test with the coming April 15 tax deadline. He has steadfastly refused to release his returns, pointing both to ongoing audits and to his belief that Americans do not care to see them. However, a Pew Research Center survey in January found that 60 percent of Americans believe Trump has a responsibility to release his returns.
All U.S. presidents are automatically audited every year, as prescribed by a guideline in the Internal Revenue Service manual in place for presidents and vice presidents since the 1970s. Trump could break with that tradition by urging Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to call for a change to the practice, legal experts said. Trump has not said whether he would follow the tradition of the annual audit.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)