7 notes from the New York Times report on President Trump’s tax returns

7 notes from the New York Times report on President Trump's tax returns

A New York Times Transfer President Donald Trump paid only $ 750 in federal income tax the year he entered the White House – and thanks to the heavy losses, there was no income tax at all in 11 of the 18 years reviewed by the Times – raising suspicions about President Trump himself. Image of a shrewd and successful businessman.

Sunday’s report came just weeks before Mr Trump’s re-election bid to intensify the spotlight on Mr Trump the businessman – the identity he spent decades raising and that helped him take over the presidency four years ago in his first political campaign. Office. Headquarters. center. The Times report deepens the uncertainty surrounding the tumultuous presidential campaign against a backdrop of a viral pandemic, ethnic unrest in American cities, and a fierce battle for the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Mr. Trump on Sunday He described the report as “completely false news.”

“First of all, I paid a lot and also a lot of government income taxes.” Mr. Trump said at a news conference on Sunday. “New York State gets paid a lot, I paid a lot in the state. It’s all going to be revealed.”

The New York Times report focused on federal tax returns, not state revenues. Mr. Trump has not disclosed how much he paid in federal income taxes or state taxes.

Breaking traditions

Since entering the White House, Mr. Trump has broken traditions established by his predecessors not only by refusing to release his tax returns but by waging a legal battle to keep them hidden. The Times report indicates why this might happen. I mentioned that many of Trump’s big companies were losing money, losses that helped him reduce his federal tax bill to basically nothing.

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Eugene Steerl, a tax expert at the Urban Institute, said he was not surprised to find that Mr. Trump had paid almost no federal income tax. Most commercial real estate developers deduct large interest payments on their debts from their taxable income, thus lowering their tax bills. They also usually avoid capital gains taxes by plowing the profits from selling a building into buying another.

“Most tax experts expected that you wouldn’t find much in the way of tax payments by President Trump,” said Stuirl, who served as a Treasury official under President Ronald Reagan.

The Times noted that Alan Garten, a Trump Organization attorney, said of the newspaper report that “most, if not all, facts appear to be inaccurate” and requested the documents on which the reports were based, which he declined to provide in order to protect his sources. The newspaper said Garten was directly contesting just how much taxes Mr Trump had paid.

Here are seven key points from the Times reports:

1. Trump paid $ 750 in taxes in both 2016 and 2017

The newspaper said Mr Trump initially paid $ 95 million in taxes over the 18 years it studied. But he managed to recover most of that money by claiming – and receiving – a staggering $ 72.9 million federal tax refund. According to The Times, Mr Trump has also made $ 21.2 million in state and local refunds, which are usually based on federal filings.

Trump’s massive refund has become the subject of a long-running Internal Revenue Service review of his finances. The review was widely known. Trump claimed that was the real reason he was unable to release his proceeds. But the New York Times report is the first to primarily identify the issue in dispute.

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As a result of the refund, Mr. Trump paid an average annual $ 1.4 million in federal taxes from 2000 to 2017, the newspaper reported. By contrast, the average U.S. taxpayer in the top .001% of earners paid around $ 25 million a year over the same time frame.

His tax returns also reveal that he has failed to pay his lenders $ 287 million since 2010, which The Times says is much more than previously known. While the IRS treats exempt debt as income, Mr. Trump avoided paying taxes on much of that money through tax maneuvers.

2. Luxurious lifestyle through business expenses

From his home and his plane – and $ 70,000 on hairdressing on his TV show “The Apprentice” – Trump has leveraged the cost of his business to finance a luxurious lifestyle.

The Times noted that Mr Trump’s homes, planes, and golf courses are part of the Trump family company, and as such, Trump classifies it as a business expense as well. Because companies can write off business expenses as deductions, all of these expenses helped reduce Trump’s tax liability.

The estate of Mr. Trump Seven Springs in Westchester County, New York is a 50,000 square foot mansion on more than 200 acres. But given its rating as investment property, Mr. Trump is able to write off $ 2.2 million in property taxes as commercial expenses. Eric Trump, one of Mr. Trump’s children, has described the drug as “our home base for a long time,” while the Trump Organization describes the drug as a “haven” for the Trump family.

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Meanwhile, a tax reform signed into law by Mr. Trump in 2017 limits taxpayers to $ 10,000 in deductions for state and local taxes, which includes property taxes.

3. Some of his most famous businesses are losing millions

The President has repeatedly cited remote hotels, golf courses and resorts as evidence of his success as a developer and entrepreneur. However, these properties bleed money.

The Times reported that Mr Trump has incurred $ 315 million in losses since 2000 at his golf courses, including the Trump National Doral near Miami, which Mr Trump has portrayed as the crown jewel of his business empire. Likewise, the Trump International Hotel in Washington lost $ 55 million, the newspaper reported.

4. Foreign visitors help support Trump’s property

Since Mr Trump began his presidential campaign, lobbyists, foreign governments and politicians have spent large sums of money on his assets, a spending spree that has raised questions about its suitability and legitimacy.

Tax attorney on Trump’s reported tax returns


The Times report shows how much this spending is: Since 2015, the Mar-a-Lago Resort in Florida has earned an additional $ 5 million annually from the membership increase. The Billy Graham Evangelical Society spent at least $ 397,602 in 2017 at the Trump Hotel in Washington. Overseas projects produced millions more for Mr. Trump – $ 3 million from the Philippines, $ 2.3 million from India and $ 1 million from Turkey.

5. He may have paid his family members ‘advisory fees’.

The New York Times reported that Mr. Trump has written off about $ 26 million in unjustified “consulting fees” as business expenses in several of his projects.

While “advisors” are not specified in the tax returns, the advisory fees claimed as tax deductions in some cases exactly match what Ivanka Trump claimed as income in her financial disclosures. For example, Ivanka Trump reported that she received $ 747,622 in payments from a consulting firm she co-owned, the same amount Mr Trump claimed as a tax deduction for two hotel projects.

At the same time, Ivanka Trump was an executive of the Trump companies, profiting from hotels and consulting fees, The Times reported. The report noted that the IRS had in the past used sanctions against some companies that sought to avoid taxes by paying advisory fees to people who were not actually independent contractors.

The maneuver helps companies avoid payroll taxes, Indicated Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.

6. Trump’s lucrative license revenue dwindled

Mr. Trump earned $ 427.4 million from his “start-up” reality show from 2010 to 2018, as well as from licensing deals from everything from apparel to mattress companies. But that revenue began to dry up when he ran for president and made derogatory comments about immigrants, costing him two of his most lucrative deals along with tens of millions of royalties from the Miss Universe contest that NBC announced it would no longer broadcast.

Indeed, Mr. Trump’s brand appears to be the most successful part of his job. During the same period that “The Newbie” appeared on the air, the companies Mr. Trump ran had lost nearly $ 175 million, the newspaper reported.

7. Trump’s debt burden is about to mature

Mr Trump appears to be sure of facing heavy financial pressure from the massive debt buildup he has absorbed. The newspaper said the president appears to be responsible for $ 421 million in loans, most of which will be due within four years. Moreover, a $ 100 million mortgage on Trump Tower in New York will be dissolved in 2022.

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