Donald Trump has had the world’s longest audit. Given how he exaggerates, that might be true, except it is not. He is a man who will say anything and everything — except “look at my income taxes.” That dangling bit of information is oh so delicious.
As it turns out, the Donald has had good reason to hide them, as The New York Times discovered. In the past 15 years, this billionaire managed to pay zero taxes for 10 of them. Nada. Zilch. A big fat nothing. This, as he raked in the hundreds of millions by breaking the law preventing presidents from profiting from their office.
On to the billionaire-president’s first year in office. Surely, he would do the right thing and pay all the taxes he owed….oh come now, this is Trump we are talking about. He paid a whopping $750 in taxes. No, that is not a typo.
Maybe, he will bottle what he does so that all of us can pay zero to $750 a year. That extra income might be handy now that he has been exposed as a fraud. Remember, this is the guy who is so tight that he paid for his son’s Boy Scout fees out of the family charity. Of course, once the president was caught, his nonprofit was shut down. Not only that, he and his first three kids can no longer have a charity, at least in New York.
The main reason Trump paid nothing was he said he lost much more than he made. The president has often waved a magic accounting wand to disappear profits, and after the smoke clears, all that is left are losses.
The Trump Organization is the umbrella for the president’s empire of over 500 entities. From 1985 to 1994, he may have made number one on the list for most money lost in American:
‘[D]uring the 2016 campaign, showed that Mr. Trump had declared losses of $915.7 million, giving him a tax deduction that could have allowed him to avoid federal income taxes for almost two decades…[In 2005] his fortunes had rebounded to the point that he was paying taxes.’
POTUS is known for stiffing his lenders:
‘And within the next four years, more than $300 million in loans — obligations for which he is personally responsible — will come due.’
According to NewJersey.com, he still owes contractors who built his Taj Mahal casino:
‘he has failed to pay back far more money than previously known: a total of $287 million since 2010. The I.R.S. considers forgiven debt to be income, but Mr. Trump was able to avoid taxes on much of that money by reducing his ability to declare future business losses. For the rest, he took advantage of a provision of the Great Recession bailout that allowed income from canceled debt to be completely deferred for five years, then spread out evenly over the next five. He declared the first $28.2 million in 2014.’
He uses his business losses to get out of paying taxes. Sometimes he had to pay the alternative minimum tax (parallel income tax). Rich people use it as mega-deductions, “including business losses, to entirely wipe out their tax liabilities:”
‘Trump paid alternative minimum tax in seven years between 2000 and 2017 — a total of $24.3 million, excluding refunds he received after filing. For 2015, he paid $641,931, his first payment of any federal income tax since 2010.’
What about Russia? Did the Donald have business dealings with President Vladimir Putin? The answer is a firm “who knows?”
Did the Donald make a deal with President Vladimir Putin? Well, regarding his Russia connections:
‘While the tax records revealed no previously unknown financial connection — and, for the most part, lack the specificity required to do so — they did shed new light on the money behind the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, a subject of enduring intrigue because of subsequent investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.’
‘The records show that the pageant was the most profitable Miss Universe during Mr. Trump’s time as co-owner…$2.3 million — made possible, at least in part, by the Agalarov family, who would later help set up the infamous 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials seeking “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton and a Russian lawyer connected to the Kremlin.’
The Senate Intelligence Committee report that looked into the Moscow pageant, and revealed:
‘[A]s recently as February, investigators subpoenaed the Russian singer Emin Agalarov, who was involved in planning it. Mr. Agalarov’s father, Aras, a billionaire who boasts of close ties to Mr. Putin, was Mr. Trump’s partner in the event.’
Top Miss Universe executive Paula Shugart said:
‘the Agalarovs offered to underwrite the event; their family business, Crocus Group, paid a $6 million licensing fee and another $6 million in expenses (a financial loss for them). Ms. Shugart told investigators that it was “one of the most lucrative deals” the Miss Universe organization ever made, according to the report.’
While Trump was barnstorming for his presidency in 2015, the accountants back home were doing his 2014 tax returns:
‘After tabulating all the profits and losses from Mr. Trump’s various endeavors on Form 1040, the accountants came to Line 56, where they had to enter the total income tax the candidate was required to pay. They needed space for only a single figure.’
Let us not keep you waiting. The grand total was:
That big tax he gave people, in spite of what he says, was only for the richest one percent of Americans. Trump coincidentally got a huge break. But what about the other $100 million he owed? There is an answer, “alchemy:”
‘businesses that he owns and runs himself…branding deals and investments…using the proceeds of his celebrity to purchase and prop up risky businesses, then wielding their losses to avoid taxes.’
He lost $315.6 million in just his golf courses. Imagine that.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.