There are so many ways to *legally* dodge (avoid) taxes in real estate. Striking that even given all those legal loopholes, the Trump family still managed to repeatedly break tax law, assuming NYT reporting is correct
— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) October 3, 2018
Well worth the time it takes to read the whole thing. From the NYTimes, “Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father”:
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.
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…
But if you’re pressed for time, they’ve provided a Shorter: “11 Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation Into Trump’s Wealth”
Think about how dumb in business Trump has to be to get a huge fortune by inheritance, defraud the gov’t of maybe a half billion dollars, and he _still_ ended up indebt to the crime syndicate that runs Russia.
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) October 3, 2018
we’ve spent 18 months investigating the Trump fortune. But if you don’t have that kinda time right now, here’s 4 short, interesting videos explaining how Fred Trump made his children rich.https://t.co/cASblRNDAH
— gabriel dance (@gabrieldance) October 2, 2018
Phillip Bump, at the Washington Post, on “The two pillars of Trump’s origin myth dislodged by the Times’s new investigation”:
… That “$1 million” loan Trump got from his father was, in fact, much higher, the Times reported. We already knew that it was probably higher than reported, thanks to prior reporting that put the figure closer to $14 million. But the Times had it much higher — with Trump getting a seed of $60.7 million from his father.
Why does that matter? For one thing, as the story notes, it makes his subsequent financial success seem much less dramatic. Had Trump invested that loan in a fund that simply tracked the S&P 500, he would today be worth just shy of $2 billion, about $1 billion less than what Forbes estimates he is actually worth. “Loans” of $1 million or $14 million are less dramatic in their effect…
But there’s another bit of mythology that the Times seems to hobble. Trump’s presentation of himself is as a savvy manipulator of the rules. On the campaign trail, he would argue that his use of offshore labor to produce his products or his contributions to politicians were examples not of hypocrisy but of his shrewdly employing loopholes to his company’s own benefit. His campaign even waved off reports about his not paying income taxes by saying he had a “fiduciary responsibility” to pay as little tax as possible.
What the Times presents, though, is a picture not of shrewd manipulation of the rules but an at-times willful disregard for them. Fred Trump is the architect of the effort to shield his children’s inheritances from excessive taxes, but Trump is presented as both a participant in the effort and, at times, an innovator…
Anyone else remember the slur He’d steal the pennies off a dead man’s eyes?
NYT: When his father was 85, Trump tried to change his father's will to benefit himself. His father was alarmed, wouldn't consent, stripped Trump of sole control over his estate. pic.twitter.com/vVmf4l4Kg2
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 2, 2018
In a functioning government, the NYT story would result in immediate bipartisan legislation forcing Trump to release his tax returns. In a functioning government.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) October 2, 2018
Statement from the NY State Taxation authority, regarding this blockbuster NYT story: "The Tax Department is reviewing the allegations in the NYT article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation." https://t.co/rACzwJPPx0
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) October 2, 2018
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) October 3, 2018
That said, you would not BELIEVE how many attack ads in House/gov/Senate races are about how such-and-such candidate didn't pay all their taxes. https://t.co/AjkvGODKwu
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) October 2, 2018
Yet, at the same time it is also an accidental confessional and partially indicting of the Times’ itself.
Tucked among the 13,000 words is a single paragraph about the Times’ role in erecting the false edifice of the swaggering, young impresario who never was.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) October 3, 2018
And it’s not just the NYTimes poking holes in Trump’s boasts…
"Much as he’s trying—and he’s definitely trying—Donald Trump is not getting richer off the presidency. Just the opposite. His net worth, by our calculation, has dropped from $4.5 billion in 2015 to $3.1 billion the last two years" https://t.co/KzvQJDnTg0
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) October 2, 2018
Unless he’s at the UN, of course https://t.co/ZdLmUSx6HW
— Alessandra T Codinha (@ATCodinha) October 3, 2018