Trump helped parents shield millions from taxes

Geraldine Edwards
October 3, 2018

Mrs. Sanders said the Times' and other media outlets' credibility with the American people " is at an all time low because they are consumed with attacking the president and his family 24/7 instead of reporting the news".

"The investigation also draws on tens of thousands of pages of confidential records - bank statements, financial audits, accounting ledgers, cash disbursement reports, invoices and cancelled checks", the Times said. On Tuesday afternoon, its reporters were tweet-threading the juiciest chunks, and the Times' email alert included much of the story's text.

President Donald Trump built much of his wealth through money passed on to him through his father using suspect tax avoidance schemes, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The president famously traces the origin of his own business empire to just a single $1 million loan.

The exhaustive report - based on interviews with former employees of the president's father and "more than 100,000" tax and financial documents - torpedoes the image of himself Trump has long sold to the public.

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"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".

The Times said the bulk of the funds owed to tax evasion tactics that Trump helped devise, including a "sham corporation" he and his siblings created to hide millions of dollars in gifts from their parents.

"Allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory", Trump attorney Charles Harder said in response the report.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment about the report.

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The Times said its findings were based on more than 200 tax returns from Fred Trump, his companies and various Trump partnerships and trusts. The value of the properties in tax returns totalled $41.4 million, vastly less than the Times says they were worth.

By 1990, Fred Trump had transferred today's equivalent of at least $US46.2 million to Donald Trump.

In 1992, the Trumps set up the company All County Building & Supply Maintenance in an apparent bid to funnel money from Fred Trump to his children without having to pay the 55-percent gift tax, according to the Times. But if you love your kids, which probably 82 percent of you do. you can now leave your small business or your attractive little farm, or whatever it is that you're so proud of, and you leave it to your kids, and they don't have to go out to the bank and borrow to pay the tax and end up losing it in a foreclosure.

Citing tax experts, the Times said Trump was unlikely to face criminal prosecution for helping his parents evade taxes but could face civil fines for tax fraud if the matter is pursued by the authorities.

The records did not include Trump's personal tax returns, which he has refused to release, breaking with decades of precedent.

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