Donald Trump Helped His Parents Dodge Millions In Taxes

Saul Bowman
October 3, 2018

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 nearly no financial help.

The Times' investigation also found that Donald Trump received at least $413 million in today's dollars from his late father over several decades, undercutting his claim that he is a self-made man.

"He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents", it said.

The paper said its findings were based on more than 200 tax returns from Fred Trump, his companies and various Trump partnerships and trusts. Administration spokesperson Sarah Sanders added that USA tax authorities had "reviewed and signed off on these transactions".

"The Tax Department is reviewing the allegations in the NYT article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation", James Gazzale, a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, told TPM in a statement.

Another "overt fraud", in the Times' surprisingly blunt language, involved a Trump company established to purchase supplies for the empire, but which in reality "simply mark [ed] up purchases already made by his employees", leading to millions in untaxed revenue.

"Donald Trump is probably the neediest person on the planet", Rubin said.

"In all, the president's parents 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 on gifts and inheritances that was in place at the time". Still, they do raise questions about Trump's never-released tax returns. Ultimately, only 5 percent, or $52.2 million, was paid in total tax on the amount. What's more, Trump and his family boosted their wealth through tax evasion and fraud, according to the Times. "The facts upon which The Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate".

Trump lawyer Charles Harder denied the report - and pointed the finger at other relatives and the financial "professionals" the family hired.

The Trumps' appraiser, Robert von Ancken, concluded at the time that a portfolio of 25 apartment complexes and other properties were worth $93.9 million.

The Times said its sources include public documents such as financial disclosure reports, as well as confidential records like bank statements.

Schwartz has long tried to offer interpretations of Trump's mind and on Tuesday he said that he guessed that the Times's report would enrage Trump more than "virtually anything that ever happened to him". However, it said there is no time limit on fines for tax fraud.

When he was campaigning, Trump repeatedly boasted of his ability to turn a small loan from his father into his fortune.

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