Tuesday, October 02, 2018

It's in The New York Times. It Must Be True. Trump the Tax Scheme Scofflaw.



The New York Times is dismembering Donald Trump's claim to be a "self made man" who built an empire with his own hard work and his own money.

It turns out that a lot of the money that grew into Trump's real estate empire was money that Trump and his father owed to the Internal Revenue Service.

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 almost no financial help. 
But The Times’s investigation, based on a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records, reveals that Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day. 
Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.
...The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, 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 then imposed on gifts and inheritances. 
The Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax records show.
The United States has strict limitations for income taxes, generally three years from the date of filing.  The statutory limitations, however, don't apply in the case of tax fraud:
It is ...important to note that no deadline applies where the IRS can establish that a taxpayer has: 1) filed a false or fraudulent return; 2) willfully attempted to evade tax; or 3) failed to file a return. Unlike the circumstances above where tax returns are filed (even with errors), these are cases in which a taxpayer is willfully or intentionally not filing taxes or is filing fraudulent return(s). Not only will there be no time limit on IRS action against such taxpayers, but heightened interest fees and penalties will apply. 
Worse yet, tax fraud and evasion are criminal violations and offenders face the prospect of fines and jail time if the government seeks to prosecute them for the offenses. Nevertheless, every year thousands of individuals fail to pay their taxes, but the IRS usually prefers to resolve tax problems outside of the judicial system in most cases. Coming forward voluntarily and cooperating with the IRS to determine any taxes that are due and establishing a payment plan is sometimes a good way of both avoiding criminal liability and getting back in the relative good graces of the IRS.
The Times article is certainly timely. Yesterday the new Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Charles Rettig, was sworn into office.
During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on June 28, 2018, Rettig "told lawmakers he would ensure that the agency is 'impartial and non-biased from top to bottom' and follows the law."
Rettig shows up on Day One to be greeted with a detailed account of a half-billion dollar tax cheat, the guy who nominated him to head the IRS. Hey Chuck, remember your "impartial and non-biased from top to bottom" pledge? Well you've got a case all made out for you thanks to a newspaper's forensic audit and it should be like pushing on an open door. Go git 'er, Chuck.

16 comments:

Jay Farquharson said...

Two years too late. FTFNYT.

Funny that, "taxes" are only for the little people.

Little mentioned, is that Greece's fiscal problems are due to the rich not paying taxes.

the salamander said...

.. President Chump has spend a lifetime refining his churlish grifter way of being. Every day (and rwitter night now) he excretes, oozes & builds his fabrications, conceits and deceits. Astonishingly he kept most of it, despite public records, well buried. But then he stumbled upon his war cry of 'fake news' and willing enablers and accomplices of the GOP - ticket to ride they realized eventually. His immediate family proves to be spineless opinionated fakes.. superior snouts and pretenders.

But times have changed.. what Clump hid or deflected via litigation - hordes of lawyers - is taking on water badly. FOI and accessible records are slipping out there. We truly do not now the full extent of duplicity. Not to worry.. 'natural consequences' are like water & can break down rock while seeking its own level of fact and truth.. Well deserved & can't wait for the howls from the White House and Huckabee Sanders dubious .. no ridiculous explain .. Welcome to ignomy Donald .. scumbag lying mysoginist rascist pus sack.. the history books are coming for you.. will not be kind.. far from it sucker

The Mound of Sound said...


The paper seems to believe that it has made out a tax fraud/evasion case against the Mango Mussolini and, as I was relieved to discover, he can't hide behind any statutory limitation. I even got a bit giddy when I found out that Trump's Commissioner of the IRS had just been sworn into office yesterday.

Mueller is widely expected to detail several instances of money laundering involving Russian mobsters and Trump Towers. Bit by bit it's emerging that Team Trump is an out of control criminal enterprise.

the salamander said...

.. have to believe Mound, that whatever New York Times dug up
Robert Mueller has in spades.. with chain of evidence.. and testimony
A quickly forced Trump resignation may not be beyond question..
The GOP may cut him loose to cut their losses

Owen Gray said...

It's always been clear that Trump is a fraud. Now we know he's a monstrous fraud.

Trailblazer said...

I doubt that there will be much enthusiasm to prosecute Trump.
There are likely many more offenders on both sides of the house.

I did hear,today, that the case is too old to prosecute.

Trump, Republicans, Democrats to name but a few are the world biggest money laundering gang and above the law at that!

TB

Jay Farquharson said...

There's no Statute of Limitations on Tax Evasion,

doesn't even go away when you are dead.

Anonymous said...

Mound, I've seen several credible reports of money laundering involving Russian mobsters and Trump buildings in Toronto and Vancouver. If only we had a police force interested in pursuing white collar crime, we could have put the screws to Trump over the NAFTA 2.0 negotiations.

Cap

The Mound of Sound said...


Cap there was a report a month or two back that, under Trump, DoJ investigation/prosecution of white collar crime has plummeted. Apparently the tycoon types are taking that as a licence to game the system as they see fit.

The Mound of Sound said...


Trailblazer, you don't get it. This is a half-billion dollar tax fraud. That's $500,000,000 plus interest and penalties. When I read the NYT piece I had to dig out the statutory limitations which is where I found that there is no prosecutorial limit for tax fraud and evasion. It doesn't go stale.

That's when I tracked down the information on the newly ensconced Commissioner of Internal Revenue who was sworn into office just one day before the NYT lowered the boom on Trump's tax scams.

How is he going to explain giving his own boss a pass on a half-billion dollar tax fraud while putting the thumbscrews to little people who didn't manage to keep all their receipts?

I'm sure Fox News is spinning the line that the case is too old to prosecute. The law says exactly the opposite. "Lock him up, lock him up, lock him up."

The Mound of Sound said...


Sal, I think Trump's window for a Nixon/Ford resignation/pardon deal may be slamming shut. He doesn't have the constitutional power to pardon himself and what incentive would his successor have that would be worth the heat he would take for letting a fraud of this magnitude go unpunished? Pence has ambitions. I can't see him throwing himself under the bus to spare Trump.

The Mound of Sound said...


Well, Owen, he's certainly one for the books. I'll contact my daughter in Dublin to see if the betting shops have posted a line for impeachment.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I saw that report. Despite Trump's efforts to clear the white collar docket, it'll be a while before DOJ prosecutions sink to Canadian levels.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't have the power to pardon himself?! If Bart O'Kavanaugh makes the cut next week, I wouldn't bet on it.

Cap

deb Scott said...

omg I think I can hear the law and order gates slam shut:)

I am so happy---there are still some investigative reporters allowed to expose this scheme to the world.
I am not sure even Mueller would have been able to nail Trump without this kind of reporting.(colour me cynical that govt reports and investigations would have been allowed to be made public)

Trailblazer said...

RE,
Trailblazer, you don't get it. This is a half-billion dollar tax fraud.

On the contrary.
As this article shows.
The audit ability of the government has been reduced so as to be ineffectual.
The Senate , who can demand Trumps tax audit, will not do so ; perhaps because many of them are equally guilty.

https://www.vox.com/2018/10/3/17932216/donald-trumps-tax-returns

I will bet that in six months none will be talking about this story.

TB