Monday, September 28, 2020

Five takeaways from NYT Trump taxes bombshell

The New York Times on Sunday published a groundbreaking look into President Trump’s finances based on more than a decade of tax documents closely guarded by the president. The bombshell report shed new light into how Trump reportedly used his business empire to wipe out much of his own income tax liabilities, but at potentially high financial and legal risk. Here are five key takeaways from the report on Trump’s taxes. Trump was able to avoid paying income taxes for 10 of the 15 years preceding his election in 2016, according to the Times, and paid just $750 in income taxes during the first two years of his presidency. Trump was able to avoid income taxes through a range of provisions in the tax code that pertain to pass-through entities — businesses that treat income as the personal income of their owners. Through these provisions, Trump was able to claim the immense losses experienced by some Trump Organization hotels and properties, the depreciating value of buildings he owns and expenses he claims were related to his business operations as deductions from taxes that would have been owed on income for other parts of his empire...Much of Trump’s personal tax liability was covered by a $72.9 million refund he received in 2010, according to the Times, claiming losses potentially driven by the failure of his Atlantic City Casinos. That refund, which has been under federal scrutiny since 2011, helped wipe out $95 million in income taxes Trump paid over 18 years...Trump appears to be in an increasingly precarious financial situation as hundreds of millions of dollars in debt he owes will soon be due for collection. The Times estimated that Trump owes $421 million in loans he personally guaranteed in addition to the potential debt he may owe the IRS pending the investigation into his $72.9 million tax rebate. Trump also owes the entirety of a $100 million mortgage on Trump Tower due in 2022. And at least $155 million in debts Trump listed in his 2020 financial disclosure are due by the end of 2024, the final full year of his potential second term...MORE

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