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Joyce Alene
I am just digging into this now, but “tax avoidance” is typically a federal crime. Failure to pay can be a misdemeanor but lying about your income in forms you sign is a felony. OK, BRB.
The Times obtained Donald Trump’s tax information extending over more than two decades, revealing struggling properties, vast write-offs, an audit battle and hundreds of millions in debt coming due.
The New York Times The New York Times @nytimes
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Joyce Alene Sep 27
Replying to @JoyceWhiteVance
“They report that Mr. Trump owns 100s of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. Nor do they reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia”-this seems to significantly undercut expectations. Also, no specific misrepresentations.
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Joyce Alene Sep 27
Replying to @JoyceWhiteVance
But there is a strong suggestion Trump has dramatically inflated his income, at least in some years: In 2018..Trump announced in his disclosure that he had made at least $434.9 million. The tax records deliver a very different portrait of his bottom line: $47.4 million in losses.
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Joyce Alene Sep 27
Replying to @JoyceWhiteVance
There is apparently a trove of information on possible conflicts of interest from Trump’s refusal to divest his business interest: “His properties have become bazaars for collecting money directly from lobbyists, foreign officials & others seeking face time, access or favor”
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Joyce Alene Sep 27
Replying to @JoyceWhiteVance
“Mr. Trump has an established track record of stiffing his lenders. But the tax returns reveal that he has failed to pay back far more money than previously known: a total of $287 million since 2010.”
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Joyce Alene Sep 27
Replying to @JoyceWhiteVance
In 2016 & 17, the most recent years for which the Times obtained returns, Trump paid a whopping $750.00 in taxes a year, benefiting from losses & tax credits from his hotel in DC, a property he leases from the gov’t & recently sought rent reduction on.
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Joyce Alene Sep 27
Replying to @JoyceWhiteVance
Records suggest it’s true that Trump is under audit: “starting in 2010 he claimed & received, an income tax refund totaling $72.9 million...The legitimacy of that refund is at the center of the audit battle that he has long been waging, out of public view, with the I.R.S.”
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Joyce Alene Sep 27
Replying to @JoyceWhiteVance
There will be close study of the pattern of using losses & strategies like abandoning his Atlantic City Casinos to avoid tax debt, which could ultimately prove problematic civil liability (back taxes) or theoretically, criminal liability, if there are willful false statements.
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Joyce Alene Sep 27
Replying to @JoyceWhiteVance
Lots of fascinating detail and specifics in this story & NYT says it will continue reporting this week, interestingly, just in time for Trump’s first debate with Joe Biden.
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Joyce Alene Sep 27
Replying to @JoyceWhiteVance
Nothing on the face of this supports what prosecutors would call “tax avoidance” - criminal failure to pay, but obviously a lot of digging to do here.
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Joyce Alene Sep 27
Replying to @JoyceWhiteVance
A last point before I go back to reading, the story notes there’s no line item deduction reimbursing Michael Cohen for Stormy Daniels, but that could also mean it’s unlawfully deducted as a legal expense. There’s no knowing what’s really in here w/o thorough forensic accounting.
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Joyce Alene Sep 27
Replying to @JoyceWhiteVance
Really the last & most significant one: “within the next four years, more than $300 million in loans—obligations for which he is personally responsible—will come due.” So a president, who appears to be w/out the means to pay the debt, will wheel & deal on it. What could go wrong?
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