Trump taxes in the spotlight

Political News

The New York Times reports President Trump and his father engaged in questionable financial and tax schemes as well as outright fraud, in the 1990s, and that Donald Trump received far more money from his father’s real estate empire than he has long claimed.

 Mr. Trump has repeatedly claimed that his fortune began with a $1-million loan from his father, which he paid back “with interest.”

 The Time says the president instead received the equivalent of $413 million. 

 Their report, compiled over 18 months, describes a pattern of deception where $1-billion in wealth was transferred from Fred Trump to his children in ways that severely diminished any tax burden. 

 Instead of the $550-million tax bill that would have been due, the Trumps paid $52 million.

 In one alleged scheme, the Trumps used artificially inflated receipts to justify rent hikes for people living in Trump owned rent-controlled buildings.

 NBC News has not independently seen or reviewed the thousands of documents on which the Times story is based. 

 The president tweeted his response, calling the story an “old, boring and often told hit piece.”

 In a statement his attorney says “there was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone” and that the president had “virtually no involvement whatsoever with these matters.”

 New York State tax investigators are now looking into the allegations, but the president likely would not face criminal penalties because the statute of limitations has expired on any possible wrongdoing. Still, civil fines are possible if wrongdoing is found. 

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