Tag Archives: Trump Tax

215. Trump Tax and Finances

30 Sep

ADDED on Oct. 9, 2020. The NY Times documents additional tax factors not discussed below. Also, consider testimony re taxes by Michael Cohen, Trumps lawyer. Alleged is that property values were altered to lower taxes. Oct. 9, 2020

It seems that some popular commentators do not understand how to interpret the latest information on Trumps tax and finances. I have run two small businesses and have had some of the same tax features as the President. However, there is one important difference between me and Trump, my businesses were profitable, I paid substantial taxes, and I was a very cautious investor. Many years ago, I had some investment losses, so I understand how losses can be carried forward.

First, I will try to clarify the tax concept of “carryover.” According to Investopedia, “A tax loss carryforward (or carryover) is a provision that allows a taxpayer to carry over a tax loss to future years to offset a profit.For example: Say you had a $50,000 loss this year due to the virus. There are limitations to applying this loss to this year’s Federal tax return. Next year, you make a profit of 120,000. Your tax basis (income minus expenses) for next year will be 120,000 less some loss carryover from this year. A carryover could erase all of your tax burden for next year, and up to seven future years for the IRS.

It appears that Trump has had several periods of major losses. He began his casino investments around 1984 with a property opened as Harrah’s at Trump Plaza. He ended up with four casinos, all of which went bankrupt. His TV show, The Apprendice ran from 2004 to 2017. He made a good profit from the shows, but invested much of it in golf courses, which mostly lost money. These major losses could be carried forward so that current taxable profits could be substantially reduced.

According to the NY Times (Buettner, Craig, and McINtire, Sept 27, 2020) in several recent years, Trump paid $750 in Federal income tax, and in many other previous years, no tax at all. There are two likely reasons for these low taxes. One would be major net losses for each year, or the second, a carryover of major losses from previous years (or both).

Assuming that Trumps tax reporting is accurate, one must conclude that overall, his finances were NOT profitable. Good, legitament profits generally require high tax payments. Also reported, is that in the next few years, major loans will be coming due.

The financial picture for Trump appears to be some good profits, that are offset by massive foolish investments. He apparently lied about his financial condition, giving the impression that he was a billionaire. After several promises, he never made public his tax returns and stated that they could not be released during an IRS audit. This was not true as there is no such rule. To be fair, it is true to his gross income was often very high, but in fact, his expenses were even higher, resulting in massive debts.

If the voters knew of his financial condition (very substantial debts and poor management) he would never have been elected. Furthermore, if he were properly vetted, he would not have been able to hold major public office. Persons with massive debts, are subject to blackmail and other negative influences. We could speculate that his unusual relationships with Russia and Turkey, could be explained by financial arrangements with these countries. There is much unknown and much to be investigated. But it is very clear, that his major debts and numerous international financial entanglements could influence decisions benefiting himself and not the nation. Also, he never fully disengaged from his businesses when he became President. That is a requirement of the office. His son-in-law also seems to have some similar financial problems.

Conclusion. Although Trump lives a wealthy life, he is NOT a good business man and not a wealthy person. So far, he has been very lucky, considering the many shady dealings he likely engaged in. His greatest skill is certain types of communication, which helped him develop a base of devoted supporters. His weakest area is a failure to study and properly address major challenges.

170. 800 Prosecutors Can’t be Wrong!

9 May

Briefly: Barr and McConnell have lied, Trump in a rage suppresses everything, M. Report shows obstruction, 800 prosecutors agree, some say Constitutional Crisis, Trump a billion-$ loser, Trump Jr was subpoenaed.  Are we at a turning point?

In the last day or two there have been dramatic events related to the Trump investigation and Robert Mueller Report. Here are the most important developments. I also have to add that my Blog-169 entitled “In the USA, an Emerging Tyranny?” was written two days earlier, Monday May 6. The six steps towards tyranny anticipate many of today’s events, such as Trump’s total suppression of testimony, documents, and subpoenas.

One of the most important events is the posting on the web site Medium of a letter from (as of now) 800 former prosecutors,  including both Republicans and Democrats. (Trump says he is exonerated.)  Here is the second paragraph:

“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.”  

In a tweet today (@RichardLeeWB), I wrote:  I think there is already plenty of evidence for Trump indictments and impeachment from the Mueller Report and other information. So we could forget unwilling testimony and Trump obstruction. Note: impeachment even without conviction still makes an important statement, here and globally.

Today, the House Judiciary Committee voted 24 to 16 to hold Attorney General Barr in contempt for defying a Mueller Report subpoena. The committee wants the entire report as a part of their oversight investigation process. The Congress, which is of equal standing to the Executive branch, has a constitutional responsibility for Executive oversight.

A few days ago, Attorney General William Barr refused to testify before the House Judiciary Committee because he did not like the format. Claims that the examination by an outside lawyer was unprecedented, are false. An example is the recent supreme court hearings for Kavanaugh where Dr. Ford was questioned.

Several years of Trump’s early tax returns were examined by reporters of the NY Times. Examination of the period 1985 to 1994  indicates an incredible business loss of over one billion dollars.

Trump Jr was subpoenaed by the GOP-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee to testify regarding the Russian investigation.  This is the first time one of the Trump family members was subpoenaed.

President Trump told reporters that “we are fighting all the subpoenas.” He has decided to restrict all testimony and documents that the Congress has every right to receive. This is based on “executive privilege.”  Please see my previous Blog-169 that outlines the step by step emergence of Tyranny.