When New York prosecutors finally begin to examine former President Donald J. Trump’s federal tax returns, they will find a veritable guide to getting rich and losing millions of dollars with almost no income tax.
However, whether they find evidence of the crime will also depend on other information not found in the actual return.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. to obtain Mr. Trump’s eight-year federal income tax return and other records from his accountant. . The decision kicked off a long legal battle for prosecutors to obtain information.
An investigation by The Times revealed that the former president had reported hundreds of millions of dollars in business losses, had not paid federal income tax for several years, and was facing an audit by the Internal Revenue Service of the $72.9 million tax refund he claimed ten years ago.
Records show that, among other things, Mr. Trump paid only $750 in federal income tax during his first year as president, and has not paid any income tax at all in 10 of the past 15 years. They also revealed that he wrote off $26 million in “consulting fees” as business expenses between 2010 and 2018, some of which appeared to have been paid to his eldest daughter Ivanka Trump, who was Tron at the time. Salaried employees of general organizations.
Since then, the legality of the fees has reduced Mr. Trump’s taxable income, which has become the subject of Mr. Vance’s investigation and the subject of a separate civil investigation conducted by New York’s Attorney General Letitia James. Ms. James and Mr. Vance are Democrats, and Mr. Trump tried to describe multiple inquiries as politically motivated while denying any wrongdoing.
Mr. Vance’s office has conducted subpoenas and conducted interviews in recent months because it reviewed various financial issues, including whether the Trump Organization misrepresented the value of assets when obtaining loans or paying property taxes, and paid 13 The ten-thousand-dollar boo in the 2016 campaign to Stephanie Clifford, a pornographic film actress whose stage name is Stormy Daniels. Among those interviewed was an employee of Deutsche Bank, one of Trump’s largest banks.
For all its revelations, Mr. Trump’s tax records are also noteworthy for what it did not show, including any new details about the payment to Ms. Clifford, which was when Mr. Vance started the investigation two years ago. The initial focus.
Tax returns are self-reported accounting treatments of income and expenses, and usually lack the necessary specialties, such as whether it is necessary to declare legal fees related to resting payments to avoid taxation, or whether there are payments from Russia through Trump Mr.’s bank account. The lack of such detailed information highlights the potential value of other records obtained by Mr. Vance in Monday’s Supreme Court ruling.
In addition to tax returns, Mr. Trump’s accountant, Mazars USA, must also produce the business records on which these tax returns are based and communicate with the Trump Organization. These materials can provide important background and background for the decisions made by Mr. Trump or his accountants when preparing to pay taxes.
John D. Fort, the former head of the Criminal Investigation Department of the US Internal Revenue Service, said that tax returns are a useful tool for finding clues, but only other financial information obtained from elsewhere can be fully understood.
Ford, CPA, Costelanitz and Fink Investigation Director in Washington State, said: “This is a very critical personal financial document, but it is only part of the puzzle.” “What you find in your return will require interviews and Follow-up of the subpoena.”
Despite this, the Times’ investigation of Mr. Trump’s remuneration still exposed many misleading claims and false information about his wealth and business acumen.
Many of Mr. Trump’s claims about generous philanthropy broke down when his tax returns were reviewed, which raised questions about the amount of certain donations and the overall nature of their tax-deductible donations. For example, $119.3 million of the approximately $130 million in charity deductions he claimed since 2005 became the estimated value of pledges not to develop real estate, sometimes after planned projects failed.
Ms. James is conducting a civil investigation. At least two of them are land-based charitable deductions. One is related to a golf course in Los Angeles, and the other is related to a manor called “Seven Springs” in West Chester. The author is studying whether to assess whether the support for tax write-offs is exaggerated.
From a broader perspective, the tax records showed the public information he submitted as a candidate, and then as the president showed a distortion of his overall financial situation, that is, reporting on golf courses, hotels, and other businesses based on the total income they collect each year Amazing numbers. The actual bottom line after deducting losses and expenses is much lower: In 2018, although Mr. Trump’s public documents showed income of $434.9 million, his tax return declared a total loss of $47.4 million.
Such terrible numbers are not unusual. Many of Mr. Trump’s golf courses are a core part of his business empire. He reportedly lost $315.6 million from 2000 to 2018, and when he entered the White House, he licensed his name to hotels and resorts His income has almost dried up. In addition, Mr. Trump has hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, most of which are personally guaranteed by him, which will mature in the next few years.
“The Times” investigation also found that he will face a potentially devastating review by the Internal Revenue Service, focusing on the huge refund he proposed in 2010, which covers all the federal income tax and interest he paid from 2005 to 2008. Mr. Trump has repeatedly stated that the continued audit was the reason he was unable to issue tax returns, although the audit procedures did not prevent him from doing so.
If the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s ruling is ultimately against him, Trump may be forced to repay more than $100 million, including interest and possible fines, as well as state and local tax refunds of approximately $21.2 million based on these figures. His federal documents.
Lars Butner with Susanne Craig Contribution report.