Trumps Taxes

justthefacts

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I’ve heard media analysts say, after reading the article, that there is no claim of illegality. You‘re free to post any claims or proof otherwise. Your last post made one vague accusation. About as good as a howie claim.
Again, you don't have to read the article, but then don't make claims about what's not in the article.

Like I said, we've moved from "there are no claims of illegality" to "there's no proof of illegality."

I've posted 3:

A) Trump wrote off legal expenses that were used to help his campaign. https://www.forums.gopherhole.com/boards/threads/trumps-taxes.98193/page-14#post-2051893

B) Trump paid Ivanka as a consultant and wrote it off when the whole time she was working as an executive of the company. https://www.forums.gopherhole.com/boards/threads/trumps-taxes.98193/#post-2050897

C) Trump claimed Seven Springs as an investment property when instead it is a private residence. https://www.forums.gopherhole.com/boards/threads/trumps-taxes.98193/page-7#post-2051267

D) There's also this one:



E) This is to say nothing of the long section on items that could easily be described as bribes, but can most charitably described as conflicts of interest.
 
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KillerGopherFan

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Again, you don't have to read the article, but then don't make claims about what's not in the article.

Like I said, we've moved from "there are no claims of illegality" to "there's no proof of illegality."

I've posted 3:

A) Trump wrote off legal expenses that were used to help his campaign. https://www.forums.gopherhole.com/boards/threads/trumps-taxes.98193/page-14#post-2051893

B) Trump paid Ivanka as a consultant and wrote it off when the whole time she was working as an executive of the company. https://www.forums.gopherhole.com/boards/threads/trumps-taxes.98193/#post-2050897

C) Trump claimed Seven Springs as an investment property when instead it is a private residence. https://www.forums.gopherhole.com/boards/threads/trumps-taxes.98193/page-7#post-2051267

D) There's also this one:



E) This is to say nothing of the long section on items that could easily be described as bribes, but can most charitably described as conflicts of interest.
I’ve only said claims and proof. They frequently go together for most people.
 

RememberMurray

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Today's Times is even better, and more illuminating...

From the back seat of a stretch limousine heading to meet the first contestants for his new TV show “The Apprentice,” Donald J. Trump bragged that he was a billionaire who had overcome financial hardship.

“I used my brain, I used my negotiating skills and I worked it all out,” he told viewers. “Now, my company is bigger than it ever was and stronger than it ever was.”

It was all a hoax.


Months after that inaugural episode in January 2004, Mr. Trump filed his individual tax return reporting $89.9 million in net losses from his core businesses for the prior year. The red ink spilled from everywhere, even as American television audiences saw him as a savvy business mogul with the Midas touch.

Twelve years later, that image of the self-made, self-saved mogul, beamed into the national consciousness, would help fuel Mr. Trump’s improbable election to the White House.

But while the story of “The Apprentice” is by now well known, the president’s tax returns reveal another grand twist that has never been truly told — how the popularity of that fictional alter ego rescued him, providing a financial lifeline to reinvent himself yet again. And then how, in an echo of the boom-and-bust cycle that has defined his business career, he led himself toward the financial shoals he must navigate today.

Mr. Trump’s genius, it turned out, wasn’t running a company. It was making himself famous — Trump-scale famous — and monetizing that fame.

 

RememberMurray

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More...

The show’s big ratings meant that everyone wanted a piece of the Trump brand, and he grabbed at the opportunity to rent it out. There was $500,000 to pitch Double Stuf Oreos, another half-million to sell Domino’s Pizza and $850,000 to push laundry detergent.

There were seven-figure licensing deals with hotel builders, some with murky backgrounds, in former Soviet republics and other developing countries. And there were schemes that exploited misplaced trust in the TV version of Mr. Trump, who, off camera, peddled worthless get-rich-quick nostrums like “Donald Trump Way to Wealth” seminars that promised initiation into “the secrets and strategies that have made Donald Trump a billionaire.”

Just as, years before, the money Mr. Trump secretly received from his father allowed him to assemble a wobbly collection of Atlantic City casinos and other disparate enterprises that then collapsed around him, the new influx of cash helped finance a buying spree that saw him snap up golf resorts, a business not known for easy profits. Indeed, the tax records show that his golf properties have been hemorrhaging millions of dollars for years.

 

RememberMurray

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More:

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s main source of income — “The Apprentice” and licensing deals — went into a steep decline starting in 2011, falling, along with the show’s ratings, from $51 million that year to $21 million by 2014, and eventually to less than $3 million in 2018.
Which is where those unsubstantiated theories of secret payments from Russia or the mob come in.
His tax records provide more mundane answers. They reveal that as he was pouring money into the golf resorts, he also pulled money out of other places in ways that suggested an immediate need. In 2012, he borrowed $100 million against his equity in Trump Tower in Manhattan, one of his more valuable properties. A year later, he withdrew $95.8 million from his share of a real estate partnership that owns buildings in New York and California. And in 2014, he sold $98 million in stocks and bonds.
These one-time maneuvers, coupled with the more than $427 million from “The Apprentice” and licensing deals, would probably have provided enough cash to cover his golf course investments. But they cannot be repeated, and in at least one case — the Trump Tower mortgage — they need to be paid back.
In addition, he has huge balances on loans, soon to come due, from Deutsche Bank, including $160 million on his Washington hotel in the Old Post Office building and $148 million on the Doral golf resort. Neither of those businesses is turning a profit.
In a series of tweets on Monday morning, a day after The Times published the first part of its investigation of his tax-return data, Mr. Trump sought to refute any negative impression of his wealth, insisting that he has “very little debt compared to the value of assets,” and suggesting that he might release statements “showing all properties, assets and debts.” It is unclear what sort of statements he was referring to; the public financial disclosures he must file as president already list his assets and debts.
As the president enters the final weeks of his re-election campaign trailing in virtually all the polls, he is a man politically and financially challenged.
Many of the old financial escape hatches have closed. After he announced his candidacy in 2015 with racist comments about Mexicans, NBC, which carried “The Apprentice,” cut ties with him and he sold his interest in the Miss Universe pageant, another reliable moneymaker. Hotel licensing deals have mostly dried up.
Last month, as he prepared for a Republican convention that would market him as America’s savior in this dark and disordered hour, Mr. Trump turned to two entertainment industry veterans with experience generating the kind of razzle-dazzle that had worked so well in the past.
Both had helped produce “The Apprentice.”
 

KillerGopherFan

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There’s a difference between a quote from someone in the article alleging something and the NYT alleging.

Show me where the NYT says Trump broke the law and I’ll admit you’re right. I haven’t read the article and am going on faith of some very reliable non-partisan sources. So prove me wrong.
 

justthefacts

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There’s a difference between a quote from someone in the article alleging something and the NYT alleging.

Show me where the NYT says Trump broke the law and I’ll admit you’re right. I haven’t read the article and am going on faith of some very reliable non-partisan sources. So prove me wrong.
THAT'S. NOT. WHAT. YOU. WROTE.

You and S2 both said that the NYT said there wasn't illegality. That's saying the NYT explicitly said there wasn't illegality.

Now you're moving to, "the NYT didn't come out and say Trump broke the law," which they're obviously not going to do for libel reasons.

And it's not some silly semantic argument, because the whole point of this is that you are claiming the article is meaningless. Using this "they didn't explicitly claim a crime" angle to justify saying that Trump did nothing wrong is just silly.

I'll leave it alone, but you moved the goalposts because you realized your cable news pundits were wrong.
 

bga1

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THAT'S. NOT. WHAT. YOU. WROTE.

You and S2 both said that the NYT said there wasn't illegality. That's saying the NYT explicitly said there wasn't illegality.

Now you're moving to, "the NYT didn't come out and say Trump broke the law," which they're obviously not going to do for libel reasons.

And it's not some silly semantic argument, because the whole point of this is that you are claiming the article is meaningless. Using this "they didn't explicitly claim a crime" angle to justify saying that Trump did nothing wrong is just silly.

I'll leave it alone, but you moved the goalposts because you realized your cable news pundits were wrong.
Yes because it would be libelous to say that Trump did anything illegal. They are aiming at people dumb enough to believe their innuendos because they have no idea how real estate or taxes work. Looks like they have found a few targets.........unfortunately for them they were all people who still believes Biden has the energy and competence to be President.
 

KillerGopherFan

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Yes because it would be libelous to say that Trump did anything illegal. They are aiming at people dumb enough to believe their innuendos because they have no idea how real estate or taxes work. Looks like they have found a few targets.........unfortunately for them they were all people who still believes Biden has the energy and competence to be President.
JTF and the NYT are expert at connecting dots. Just look at Trump-Russia collusion.
 

justthefacts

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Yes because it would be libelous to say that Trump did anything illegal. They are aiming at people dumb enough to believe their innuendos because they have no idea how real estate or taxes work. Looks like they have found a few targets.........unfortunately for them they were all people who still believes Biden has the energy and competence to be President.
Which one of the 4 examples I posted above would you like to counter by claiming that it's actually legal? Please go into detail.
 

RememberMurray

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In a separate deal he struck that same year, this one to promote the multilevel marketing of vitamins by a company that was rebranded the Trump Network, he gave speeches that persuaded some people to spend almost $500 for a starter kit and try to recruit friends and relatives. Mr. Trump said in a video that people “need a new dream.”

“The Trump Network wants to give millions of people renewed hope, and with an exciting plan to opt out of the recession,” he said.

Within a couple of years, the company behind the Trump Network, Ideal Health, was sold, and its owners declared bankruptcy. Still, it was long enough for Mr. Trump to make $2.6 million selling hope in a vitamin bottle, according to his tax records.

In 2016, he agreed to pay $25 million to settle litigation over Trump University, an unaccredited seminar that persuaded people to pay as much as $35,000 to learn the real estate trade. But that legal reckoning was the exception in a decade-long run by Mr. Trump and his company, described in the class-action suit, filed in 2018, as a “large and complex enterprise with a singular goal: to enrich themselves by systematically defrauding economically marginalized people looking to invest in their educations, start their own small businesses and pursue the American Dream.”

 

justthefacts

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JTF and the NYT are expert at connecting dots. Just look at Trump-Russia collusion.
You're willfully ignoring several examples of Trump wrong-doing by hiding behind the fact that NYT didn't explicitly allege a crime.

Here's some more stuff for you to ignore while we're at it.

Lying on your financial disclosures is illegal


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HRC had a meeting with a Nobel Prize winner who contributed to her CHARITY and people went nuts. But lobbyists renting rooms and offices from Trump is totally cool because the NYT didn't say it was illegal.
 

GopherJake

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Don's quickest way out of his financial mess is to tank the election and get out on the appearance fee circuit ASAP. I'm betting he could make an awful lot out there pandering to his drones.
 

justthefacts

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The IRS is auditing fewer wealthy taxpayers. But Trump was one of the few who was audited, so my point stands. The IRS has not been “gutted”. Pick a different word.
Further, I’m a huge proponent of a much simpler and efficient tax code, where IRS auditors wouldn’t even be needed, so complain to someone else.
Worth noting the audit is from 2009:



 

stocker08

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If that is the case, you live in the earth under the footings. Under your parents house.
This was your most original post in years. And you still missed the mark by a mile. Good job.
 

stocker08

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Donny will do time
I'd bet that Trump steps down before he leaves office early next year so that Pence can pardon him. Assuming that Pence is willing to pardon a career criminal and morally bankrupt (plus monetarily bankrupt) dotard.
 

Blizzard

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The NY Times has written an 'article' about Trump and his finances every year since he took office. It whips people into a frenzy. I would guess they've got at least four more articles to go. :)
 

Section2

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I'm getting the vibe from that guy that slavery is morally ambiguous but economically awesome.
Precisely the opposite. Slavery is unambiguously wrong, in ALL forms, and is economically a terrible model. Capitalism is far superior to servitude.
 

Section2

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Worth noting the audit is from 2009:



Is that the only time he’s been audited?

the IRS has been caught abusing their authority, and are probably the worst branch of government and most terrifying to US citizens. Defund them, eliminate the income tax, and move to a consumption tax. Problems solved.
 

Section2

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You said, " NYT said there’s nothing illegal " This is exactly what S2 did. He said the NYT said there was nothing illegal, and then when I pointed out the article DIDN'T say that, he shifted to, "well, that doesn't confirm there's anything illegal."

Again, you don't have to read the article, but then don't make claims about what's not in the article.
You avoided the follow up. Did the NYTs analysis of his taxes show anything illegal? You are lumping in separate investigations that did not derive from the illegal leak of a private citizens tax returns.
 

Section2

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THAT'S. NOT. WHAT. YOU. WROTE.

You and S2 both said that the NYT said there wasn't illegality. That's saying the NYT explicitly said there wasn't illegality.

Now you're moving to, "the NYT didn't come out and say Trump broke the law," which they're obviously not going to do for libel reasons.

And it's not some silly semantic argument, because the whole point of this is that you are claiming the article is meaningless. Using this "they didn't explicitly claim a crime" angle to justify saying that Trump did nothing wrong is just silly.

I'll leave it alone, but you moved the goalposts because you realized your cable news pundits were wrong.
The examples you listed are educated guesses, missing key pieces of information required to prove their case. I don’t know if he did anything wrong, anyone with a return as complex as his runs the risk of breaking something. It’s more an indictment on our tax code than Trump. And Trump isn’t doing his own returns, he’s hiring experts to advise. He took advantage of everything he could to minimize his tax burden.
 

cjbfbp

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I'd bet that Trump steps down before he leaves office early next year so that Pence can pardon him. Assuming that Pence is willing to pardon a career criminal and morally bankrupt (plus monetarily bankrupt) dotard.
Michael Cohen guessed that too but I really have to wonder what is in that for Pence. Trump has 3 attributes that greatly please the Republican base:

1) he attacks the media constantly;

2) he always tries to "own the libs" (with very mixed success I'd say);

3) he won so he still has the veneer of a winner.

#3 is by far the most important but, if he loses, that most important attribute is gone and he won't have much more time to do #1 and #2 as president. If he continues to be dragged through the muck, that makes him even more of a loser and I could see the base losing interest in him really fast. So, I think the label of the man who pardoned Trump may be a negative for Pence going forward under those circumstances. Pardoning his president sure didn't help Gerald Ford.
 

KillerGopherFan

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Worth noting the audit is from 2009:



Here ya go JTF. Respond to this. JTF style:

New York Times Trump Tax Return “Bombshell” Is A Joke

The New York Times published an article Sunday evening analyzing several years of tax returns filed by President Donald Trump. This illegal leak of the president’s tax returns revealed nothing we didn’t already know about the Trump business hydra: It is complicated, has a lot of expenses that generate tax deductions, and hires very smart tax advisers to make the whole thing work with as low a legal tax liability as possible. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the Democrats also tried this line of attack against Trump in the 2016 debates.

Because most media will breeze over it, it’s important to pause and note the criminal illegality of this story. It is a federal crime for any federal, state, or local government employee to release a tax return without the consent of the taxpayer. Ditto for tax lawyers, CPAs, enrolled agents, and other tax professionals. Interestingly, it’s also illegal to print or publish tax returns or information from them. Section 7213 of the Internal Revenue Code prescribes that each violation here is a felony punishable by $5,000 and/or five years in federal prison, plus the cost of prosecution. Federal employees so convicted are to lose their jobs.

Trump enjoys the same protection of federal tax law that any John Q. Public has. Someone should go to jail for releasing his tax returns. Speaking as an enrolled agent who has prepared taxes as a side hustle for nearly two decades, this cavalier attitude toward tax return custody is appalling to me. The president ought to have some conversations today with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Attorney General William Barr about prosecuting The New York Times for its possible tax felonies.

The Story Is a Flop
Turning to the particulars of the tax return, there simply isn’t much here. There’s certainly no smoking gun, nothing that on its face is illegal in some way. The portrait that emerges is one of a very aggressive, wheeler-dealer businessman with a thousand fingers in a thousand pies. Trump allocates money in a wide array of business ventures, generating tax deductions that offset income from these and other enterprises.

Trump himself in the piece describes his approach as “truthful hyperbole,” which is one of those wonderful phrases like “trust but verify,” “non-denial denial,” and “unknown unknowns.” In this case, the phrase tells me, as someone who has had all sorts of tax clients over the years, that the president loves the game. He is always looking for his next business venture and wants to plow all his profits from other lines of work into the next chapter of his life.

Not surprisingly, a business empire run this way robs a lot of profitable Peters to pay a lot of unprofitable Pauls. The New York Times article throws around terms that sound tricky or scary to normal people, but to tax professionals are part of any business tax return — depreciation, amortization, business bad debt, net operating losses, passive losses, historic rehabilitation credits, consulting fees, and the like. The bottom line is that the Trump business empire is basically a closed circuit — profits from business A are used to prop up business B and acquire business C. That creates a lot of deductions that offset the profit, which in turn means that in some years, very little tax is owed.

Does that make Trump a tax cheat? Not by itself, certainly. The IRS or other tax authorities are of course free to challenge the legality of this capital loss or that consulting expense, but that’s a matter of analyzing facts and circumstances case by case. There’s nothing wrong with taking these deductions in and of themselves. These types of news stories tend to cherry-pick particular tax years and tax deductions that fit the narrative and ignore high tax payment years that do not. Remember that the next time you see a screaming headline that “Evil Company X Paid Nothing in Taxes Last Year.” It’s almost certainly a truthful lie.

Tax Evasion Is Different Than Tax Avoidance
Here is where the story really falls down. It does not inform the reader about the crucial distinction between tax evasion (illegally misrepresenting income and deductions to fraudulently lessen tax liability) and tax avoidance (legally using available deductions and other tax benefits to legitimately lessen tax liability). This difference is the axle upon which the entire story turns.

Unfortunately for the New York Times, all it has managed to uncover is a very aggressive taxpayer working with a very talented team of tax professionals pushing every legal tax avoidance strategy they can muster. God bless them for it.

A simple example of tax avoidance normal people could use might be in order. Suppose you purchased startup stock in your college roommate’s XYZ corporation, and it’s doubled many times over. Your tax adviser might counsel you that rather than selling the stock and having to pay the capital gains tax, you might consider donating the stock to your favorite charity. Not only do you avoid the capital gains tax, but you also get to claim a tax deduction for the fair market value of the stock donated, a double benefit. There are countless other tax avoidance techniques, complex and simple, throughout the tax code.

Tax Avoidance Is Smart

Some will object further that the president is doing something morally wrong by avoiding a larger payment of taxes. To that I would point to any small business owner and ask them whether they are doing something wrong by deducting subcontractor payments, business meals and travel, business owner retirement plan contributions, rent, and the like. It’s just a matter of scale.

Businesses can and should deduct all ordinary and necessary expenses against business revenue to arrive at business profit — period, end of story. To deny this is to implicitly endorse a gross receipts tax on business income, something tax experts of all persuasions will tell you is the singularly most unfair way to tax businesses.


It’s true that the president’s tax returns might not look like John and Jane Public’s married filing jointly April 15 Turbo Tax submission. But John and Jane have a stable and simple life of W-2 wages, 401(k) plans, a couple of kids, and a mortgage. They like things to be as far from complex as possible. They don’t have business expenses — everything is spent on their personal lives, and personal expenses are by norm not deductible under the tax code. This simplicity is made possible by business owners like Trump who deploy capital, take risks, endure losses, and manage complex enterprises. If John and Jane want in on this high-risk, high-reward lifestyle, they can and should start small businesses of their own.

Don’t Forget About Joe Biden
Are the rich guys getting away with murder and sticking John and Jane with the bill? Not according to the federal government’s own data. The Congressional Budget Office publishes an “all-in” analysis of how much people pay in total federal taxes. Its latest report says that middle-income families pay 13 percent of their income in total federal taxes, down from 14 percent before the Trump tax cut. The top 1 percent, however, pay more than twice that amount; over 30 percent of their income goes to the federal government. We have a steeply progressive tax system in which you pay a greater share of your income in taxes as you earn more money.

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Trump’s opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, himself is a fan of perfectly legal tax avoidance. In 2017 and 2018, Joe and Jill Biden ran $13 million of profits from speaking and writing gigs through a Subchapter-S corporation, allowing them to avoid, not evade, $500,000 in Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.


In addition, Biden might have ventured into the area of tax evasion, the bad kind, by not paying himself a high enough “reasonable salary” W-2, something required under tax law. The big difference between Biden and Trump, of course, is that Biden wants to raise your taxes and Trump wants to cut them.

If this is the big pre-debate “gotcha” that the Democrats and their allies in Big Media had in mind, it’s a bit of a flop.
 

Wally

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Trump pays no taxes and yet still pushes for additional tax cuts for himself and people like him. Yes its a systematic problem that Trump has made worse to his benefit.
 
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