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Thread: Trump's Taxes

  1. #1

    Default Trump's Taxes

    Well, not quite his, but his father's, and his hand in them. Not quite the "self-made" man he claims to be...

    This is particularly special:

    The most overt fraud was All County Building Supply & Maintenance, a company formed by the Trump family in 1992. All County’s ostensible purpose was to be the purchasing agent for Fred Trump’s buildings, buying everything from boilers to cleaning supplies. It did no such thing, records and interviews show. Instead All County siphoned millions of dollars from Fred Trump’s empire by simply marking up purchases already made by his employees. Those millions, effectively untaxed gifts, then flowed to All County’s owners — Donald Trump, his siblings and a cousin. Fred Trump then used the padded All County receipts to justify bigger rent increases for thousands of tenants.
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...820181002&te=1

    Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father
    The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.

    By DAVID BARSTOW, SUSANNE CRAIG and RUSS BUETTNER

    Oct. 2, 2018
    President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

    Mr. Trump won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C. Trump, provided almost no financial help.

    But The Times’s investigation, based on a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records, reveals that Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day.

    Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.

    These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times found. The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances.

    The Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax records show.

    The president declined repeated requests over several weeks to comment for this article. But a lawyer for Mr. Trump, Charles J. Harder, provided a written statement on Monday, one day after The Times sent a detailed description of its findings. “The New York Times’s allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory,” Mr. Harder said. “There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone. The facts upon which The Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate.”

    Mr. Harder sought to distance Mr. Trump from the tax strategies used by his family, saying the president had delegated those tasks to relatives and tax professionals. “President Trump had virtually no involvement whatsoever with these matters,” he said. “The affairs were handled by other Trump family members who were not experts themselves and therefore relied entirely upon the aforementioned licensed professionals to ensure full compliance with the law.”

    [Read the full statement]

    The president’s brother, Robert Trump, issued a statement on behalf of the Trump family:

    “Our dear father, Fred C. Trump, passed away in June 1999. Our beloved mother, Mary Anne Trump, passed away in August 2000. All appropriate gift and estate tax returns were filed, and the required taxes were paid. Our father’s estate was closed in 2001 by both the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State tax authorities, and our mother’s estate was closed in 2004. Our family has no other comment on these matters that happened some 20 years ago, and would appreciate your respecting the privacy of our deceased parents, may God rest their souls.”

    The Times’s findings raise new questions about Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his income tax returns, breaking with decades of practice by past presidents. According to tax experts, it is unlikely that Mr. Trump would be vulnerable to criminal prosecution for helping his parents evade taxes, because the acts happened too long ago and are past the statute of limitations. There is no time limit, however, on civil fines for tax fraud.

    The findings are based on interviews with Fred Trump’s former employees and advisers and more than 100,000 pages of documents describing the inner workings and immense profitability of his empire. They include documents culled from public sources — mortgages and deeds, probate records, financial disclosure reports, regulatory records and civil court files.

    The investigation also draws on tens of thousands of pages of confidential records — bank statements, financial audits, accounting ledgers, cash disbursement reports, invoices and canceled checks. Most notably, the documents include more than 200 tax returns from Fred Trump, his companies and various Trump partnerships and trusts. While the records do not include the president’s personal tax returns and reveal little about his recent business dealings at home and abroad, dozens of corporate, partnership and trust tax returns offer the first public accounting of the income he received for decades from various family enterprises.

    [11 takeaways from The Times’s investigation]

    What emerges from this body of evidence is a financial biography of the 45th president fundamentally at odds with the story Mr. Trump has sold in his books, his TV shows and his political life. In Mr. Trump’s version of how he got rich, he was the master dealmaker who broke free of his father’s “tiny” outer-borough operation and parlayed a single $1 million loan from his father (“I had to pay him back with interest!”) into a $10 billion empire that would slap the Trump name on hotels, high-rises, casinos, airlines and golf courses the world over. In Mr. Trump’s version, it was always his guts and gumption that overcame setbacks. Fred Trump was simply a cheerleader.

    “I built what I built myself,” Mr. Trump has said, a narrative that was long amplified by often-credulous coverage from news organizations, including The Times.

    Certainly a handful of journalists and biographers, notably Wayne Barrett, Gwenda Blair, David Cay Johnston and Timothy L. O’Brien, have challenged this story, especially the claim of being worth $10 billion. They described how Mr. Trump piggybacked off his father’s banking connections to gain a foothold in Manhattan real estate. They poked holes in his go-to talking point about the $1 million loan, citing evidence that he actually got $14 million. They told how Fred Trump once helped his son make a bond payment on an Atlantic City casino by buying $3.5 million in casino chips.

    But The Times’s investigation of the Trump family’s finances is unprecedented in scope and precision, offering the first comprehensive look at the inherited fortune and tax dodges that guaranteed Donald J. Trump a gilded life. The reporting makes clear that in every era of Mr. Trump’s life, his finances were deeply intertwined with, and dependent on, his father’s wealth.


    Donald J. Trump accumulated wealth throughout his childhood thanks to his father, Fred C. Trump.
    By age 3, Mr. Trump was earning $200,000 a year in today’s dollars from his father’s empire. He was a millionaire by age 8. By the time he was 17, his father had given him part ownership of a 52-unit apartment building. Soon after Mr. Trump graduated from college, he was receiving the equivalent of $1 million a year from his father. The money increased with the years, to more than $5 million annually in his 40s and 50s.

    Fred Trump’s real estate empire was not just scores of apartment buildings. It was also a mountain of cash, tens of millions of dollars in profits building up inside his businesses, banking records show. In one six-year span, from 1988 through 1993, Fred Trump reported $109.7 million in total income, now equivalent to $210.7 million. It was not unusual for tens of millions in Treasury bills and certificates of deposit to flow through his personal bank accounts each month.

    Fred Trump was relentless and creative in finding ways to channel this wealth to his children. He made Donald not just his salaried employee but also his property manager, landlord, banker and consultant. He gave him loan after loan, many never repaid. He provided money for his car, money for his employees, money to buy stocks, money for his first Manhattan offices and money to renovate those offices. He gave him three trust funds. He gave him shares in multiple partnerships. He gave him $10,000 Christmas checks. He gave him laundry revenue from his buildings.

    Much of his giving was structured to sidestep gift and inheritance taxes using methods tax experts described to The Times as improper or possibly illegal. Although Fred Trump became wealthy with help from federal housing subsidies, he insisted that it was manifestly unfair for the government to tax his fortune as it passed to his children. When he was in his 80s and beginning to slide into dementia, evading gift and estate taxes became a family affair, with Donald Trump playing a crucial role, interviews and newly obtained documents show.

    The line between legal tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion is often murky, and it is constantly being stretched by inventive tax lawyers. There is no shortage of clever tax avoidance tricks that have been blessed by either the courts or the I.R.S. itself. The richest Americans almost never pay anything close to full freight. But tax experts briefed on The Times’s findings said the Trumps appeared to have done more than exploit legal loopholes. They said the conduct described here represented a pattern of deception and obfuscation, particularly about the value of Fred Trump’s real estate, that repeatedly prevented the I.R.S. from taxing large transfers of wealth to his children.

    “The theme I see here through all of this is valuations: They play around with valuations in extreme ways,” said Lee-Ford Tritt, a University of Florida law professor and a leading expert in gift and estate tax law. “There are dramatic fluctuations depending on their purpose.”

    The manipulation of values to evade taxes was central to one of the most important financial events in Donald Trump’s life. In an episode never before revealed, Mr. Trump and his siblings gained ownership of most of their father’s empire on Nov. 22, 1997, a year and a half before Fred Trump’s death. Critical to the complex transaction was the value put on the real estate. The lower its value, the lower the gift taxes. The Trumps dodged hundreds of millions in gift taxes by submitting tax returns that grossly undervalued the properties, claiming they were worth just $41.4 million.
    [Story continues]
    Last edited by BriarFox; 10-02-2018 at 05:32 PM.
    My current items for sale or trade: Treasures in the Brambles.
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  2. Default

    Last edited by Androidpk; 10-02-2018 at 05:43 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    What are the excuses going to be? Taxes suck anyway! He's a smart businessman to dodge his taxes like that and not get busted. No one should pay taxes because big Government. He frauded his taxes a long time ago and he's a different man today. We'll probably hear about some sort of IRS version of statute of limitations too.

  4. #4
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    Default

    When it comes to things like this article, who knows what to believe?

    I do know Trump lies all day and every day, and he has no relationship to reality, so I can see all of this being true.

    Trump is a conman at heart.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cwolff View Post
    What are the excuses going to be? Taxes suck anyway! He's a smart businessman to dodge his taxes like that and not get busted. No one should pay taxes because big Government. He frauded his taxes a long time ago and he's a different man today. We'll probably hear about some sort of IRS version of statute of limitations too.
    What about the Clinton's taxes? George Soros hides all his wealth overseas. This is just another partisan hack attack on Trump. Since when do liberals care about taxes anyways. You're just jealous of his success. This is just to deflect from Trump building up America's economy to levels never seen before. Something something about soy and liberal tears.

  6. #6

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    So not only was all of this illegal but the IRS knew about it and allowed it to happen? Sounds legit.

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    "The Tax Department is reviewing the allegations in the NYT article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation," a spokesman from New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said in an email to CNBC.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/02/new-...t-article.html

    You can bet the NYAG is going to be using this information in their case/s against the Trump Foundation.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tgo01 View Post
    So not only was all of this illegal but the IRS knew about it and allowed it to happen? Sounds legit.
    Probably outright fraud, but mostly under the radar, with some luck and a lot of work. The statute of limitations on it as a criminal activity has expired, though it could be a civil case still.

    Beyond the fraud, though, it's deeply amusing how thoroughly this article debunks Trump's projected image as a self-made man. Instead, he could barely stay wealthy with his dad funneling him over $400M.
    Last edited by BriarFox; 10-02-2018 at 05:58 PM.
    My current items for sale or trade: Treasures in the Brambles.
    Contact: Nuadjha (Discord and LNet), Briarfox@play.net

  9. Default

    Its also likely he's still committing similar tax evading schemes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Androidpk View Post
    "The Tax Department is reviewing the allegations in the NYT article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation," a spokesman from New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said in an email to CNBC.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/02/new-...t-article.html

    You can bet the NYAG is going to be using this information in their case/s against the Trump Foundation.
    Cohen is cooperating with SDNY AG, as well as Mueller. He probably has some things to say.

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