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Politics The Key Takeaways From the Times’ Trump Tax Return Investigation

03:15  28 september  2020
03:15  28 september  2020 Source:   nymag.com

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The New York Times has obtained tax - return data for President Trump and his companies that Among the key findings of The Times ’s investigation : Mr. Trump paid no federal income taxes in 11 of Below is a deeper look at the takeaways . The main article based on the investigation contains

Here are some key takeaways from the complaint: 1. The House is using Trump ’s own words against him. Pretty clever. The Committee is investigating the IRS’s administration of various tax laws and policies relating to Presidential tax returns and tax law compliance by President Trump , including

On Sunday, the New York Times published a massive investigation into President Trump’s tax returns, revealing years of aggressive write-offs, tax avoidance, and staggering losses. The report comes at an inopportune time for a president facing an uphill reelection battle and a potential investigation for tax fraud by the Manhattan District Attorney. Below are the most important takeaways from the Times’ reporting into Trump’s financial stress and expansive debt.

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Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump paid $0 in federal income taxes in 10 of the last 15 years

Though the president has claimed that he has nothing to hide in the tax returns that he has refused to release to the American public, he probably won’t be thrilled by the Times’ disclosure that he has paid no federal income tax in 10 of the last 15 years — and only 11 times in the last 18 years. Trump reported losing more money than he made in the years he did not pay, a detail that undermines his already-spurious claim that he is a business guru.

Trump only paid $750 in taxes in 2016

President Trump paid only $750 in U.S. taxes in 2016, the year he ran for president, then paid the same paltry sum in the first year of his presidency. In addition, according to the Times, that seems to only have happened because “his accountants appear to have carved out an allowance for a small tax liability” in those years, since Trump had enough tax credits to owe no taxes at all. For a little context, Vox’s Dylan Matthews notes that “a single adult would only need to make $17,900” to pay $750 in federal income taxes.

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Trump , who has fiercely guarded his tax filings and is the only president in modern times not to make them public, paid no federal income The disclosure, which the Times said comes from tax return data it obtained extending over two decades, comes at a pivotal moment ahead of the first presidential

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The amount he paid in U.S. taxes in 2017 was also far less than his businesses paid to some other countries overseas. Per the Times, Trump’s companies paid more than $145,000 in taxes to India that year, more than $156,000 to the Philippines, and more than $15,000 to Panama.

Trump wrote off $70,000 in haircuts as business expenses

As the Times politely frames it, “Mr. Trump classifies much of the spending on his personal lifestyle as the cost of business.” Perhaps the most egregious example of this trend is a $70,000 sum he spent on hair styling during The Apprentice, though more expensive examples include the cost of his aircraft and a high five-figure sum paid to one of Ivanka Trump’s hair and makeup artists.

The IRS is auditing a $72.9 million tax refund

Because of the suspect ways he has reduced his tax responsibility, the Times reports that Trump is currently subject to an Internal Revenue Service audit of a $72.9 million tax refund. According to the investigation, Trump claimed a total loss from one of his disastrous casinos, despite getting a 5 percent stake in the company that emerged from the bankruptcy. Since federal law dictates that investors can only claim such a loss if they get nothing in return, the whole tax refund — which largely canceled out the $95 million in federal income taxes he did pay over the last 18 years — could be in jeopardy:

Everything Donald Trump Has Said About Releasing His Tax Returns

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President Trump at a White House event on Friday.Credit T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times .

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In 2011, the I.R.S. began an audit reviewing the legitimacy of the refund. Almost a decade later, the case remains unresolved, for unknown reasons, and could ultimately end up in federal court, where it could become a matter of public record.

Trump’s golf courses are big losers, and lost him much of his Apprentice fortune

The Times reports that since 2000, Trump has reported losing more than $315 million at his family’s golf courses, particularly after his post-Apprentice golf-course buying spree, which resulted in the Trump organization owning 15 golf courses by the end of 2015, up from two before the premiere of the Apprentice (and all the clout his newfound reality-TV stardom afforded him).

The majority of the losses came from the Trump National Doral resort in Miami, which he bought for $150 million in 2012 — and where he attempted a cash injection last year by proposing the G7 be held there. By 2018, despite putting $213 million into that resort, Trump had reported losses from it totally more than $162 million. Trump also reported a total of $63.6 million in losses from his family’s three European golf courses (two in Scotland, one in Ireland).Furthermore, while Trump has tried to explain that his business’ extensive losses aren’t as bad as they seem due to depreciation:

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President Trump 's infamously elusive tax returns have reportedly seen the light of day -- and they appear to paint a portrait of Houdini-like tactics The Times also reports that the returns do not show anything not previously known about Trump and Russia as far as business dealings are concerned.

Mr. Trump first sued to block the subpoena last year, arguing that a sitting president was immune from state criminal investigations . The bank complied with the request, The Times said. Even should Mr. Vance obtain the president’s tax returns , they are not likely to become public in the foreseeable future.

[T]he tax records for Mr. Trump’s businesses show, however, is that he has lost chunks of his fortune even before depreciation is figured in. The three European golf courses, the Washington hotel, Doral and Trump Corporation reported losing a total of $150.3 million from 2010 through 2018, without including depreciation as an expense.

Trump’s debt is massive, and will soon get worse

While it’s been previously reported that the president owes Deutsche Bank hundreds of millions of dollars, the investigation reveals the ensuing crisis if the president wins reelection and tries to avoid the $421 million in loans he is personally responsible for, loans which are coming due within the next four years. If Trump is president in that time, one can only wonder how he’d use the federal government as a defense against any lenders who choose to foreclose on him.

Trump’s (predictable) response to the Times report

“It’s totally fake news. Made up, fake,” Trump responded on Sunday night when asked about the bombshell Times report, and specifically him paying only hundreds of dollars a year in taxes. He suggested the Times was trying to damage him politically, once again claimed he was under audit, and complained that was because “the IRS treats me very badly.”

Trump also noted, without providing any specific details, that he has “paid a lot in state income taxes, too.”

As usual, there’s an old Trump tweet for contrast

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