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Trump went even further than other uber-rich to shrink taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The tax-avoidance strategies that President Donald Trump capitalized on to shrink his tax bill to essentially zero are surprisingly common among major real estate developers and...

9/29/2020 1:44:00 AM

The financial strategies that President Trump used to shrink his tax burden to essentially zero are surprisingly common among America's uber-wealthy. But tax experts say Trump pushed those strategies to the limit, perhaps to the breaking point.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The tax-avoidance strategies that President Donald Trump capitalized on to shrink his tax bill to essentially zero are surprisingly common among major real estate developers and...

But, Hanlon added, “it’s still pretty shocking to see it.″U.S. tax law has long been kind to big real estate developers. It allows them myriad legal loopholes and breaks that can significantly shrink their tax bills. The law became even more beneficial to them after Trump’s Republican allies in Congress pushed through his $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, which took effect in 2018.

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The Times reviewed Trump’s tax returns for 2000 through 2017, so its report didn’t capture the impact of the 2018 law. But Martin Sullivan, chief economist at Tax Analysts, said, “It is much easier now for a real estate developer to avoid taxes than it was five years ago.”

Even before the 2018 law, developers could claim losses more quickly and easily than other businesses. They can also more easily delay or avoid reporting profits to the Internal Revenue Service. Even if they fall behind on their debts, they face fewer tax penalties than other investors do as long as their creditors forgive their debts.

Trump took full advantage of those tax breaks after failing to handle debts on his failing Atlantic City casinos in the 1990s and early 2000s. Even so, experts say it’s unclear whether all his actions were permissible.“There are a lot of things that Trump has done that may exceed what is allowed by the law,” Wamhoff said.

Wamhoff noted that the IRS has raised questions about some of Trump’s claims — in particular, a whopping $72.9 million federal tax refund that he sought and received, as well as “business deductions for expenses that really look like personal expenses.”

The Times reported, for example, that Trump has claimed a 200-acre family retreat in Bedford, New York, as an investment, thereby allowing him to write off property taxes. And he has used what the Times called “unexplained” consulting payments to shrinkhis business taxes. Trump even claimed $70,000 in hair styling expenses during his TV show “The Apprentice.’’

ADVERTISEMENTAt the same time, said Sullivan at Tax Analysts, defining legitimate business expenses is a “murky” issue.Hair styling is a clearly a personal matter for an everyday office worker. But for a television personality, it would be a legitimate business expense.

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Full Coverage:Donald TrumpExperts note that such outsize tax advantages for the most privileged businesspeople have served to widen the nation’s economic inequality. Economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman at the University of California, Berkeley, found that in 2018 billionaires faced a small burden than did the working class for the first time in 100 years: The richest 400 Americans paid an overall tax rate of 23%, including federal, state and local taxes, compared with 24.2% for the bottom 50% — and compared with Trump’s effective 0% federal income tax.

Wealthy families typically try to transfer some of their assets during their lifetime to ease the tax burden on their heirs, something they can do legally in a variety of ways. As assets go, real estate is one of the most flexible options.That said, there’s a fine line between tax avoidance and abuse.

A key provision in the 2018 tax law delivered a steep tax break for a kind of business that is often set up by owners of profitable firms, including Trump and his family. The law allowed a 20% deduction against income taxes for businesses whose profits are taxed at the owner’s personal income rate. They are known as “pass-through” companies because their profits are passed through to the owner’s personal tax bucket.

Those businesses span a huge range, from the local florist and family-owned restaurant to law firms, hedge funds and privately held large firms like the Trump family’s property empire.Trump himself has owned about 500 entities structured as pass-throughs, according to his lawyers. This has made the Trump Organization less a single business than a grab-bag of units drawing on the fancier parts of the tax code: Sole proprietorships and limited-liability partnerships.

Beyond wealthy individuals, the Trump tax law made it easier for big corporations, too, to avoid paying income taxes, now at a 21% rate. Despite reaping billions in profits, some of them receive tax rebates that exceed their income tax bills, thereby granting them effectively a negative tax rate. Some of the companies that have done this in recent years according to their public filings include Amazon, General Motors, IBM and Netflix.

Apple, the most valuable company in the world, has used the the tax code to avoid paying billions in U.S. taxes by deploying a complex setup involving subsidiaries in Ireland.More recently, embedded in the $2.3 trillion pandemic rescue package speedily enacted in March is a tax break piggybacked onto the earlier break for “pass-through” companies. Experts say it helps mostly millionaires.

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The new change in the tax code would deliver nearly 82% of its benefits to about 43,000 taxpayers who earn more than $1 million yearly, according to an estimate from nonpartisan congressional tax analysts. And it would cost U.S. taxpayers $86 billion this year by reducing tax revenue captured by the government, the Joint Committee on Taxation calculated earlier this year.

Proponents of the new tax break insisted it was needed relief for small businesses in dire cash-flow straits because of the virtual shutdown of the U.S. economy. Smaller pass-through companies, though, may not be as well-positioned as the giants to capitalize on the tax change.

Read more: The Associated Press »

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And.. That's the reason he has to be re-elected to avoid... Jail I heard he cashed a 37 cent check... But maybe that's how 'billionaires' do it?🙄 You misspelled...LEGALLY Translation: Trump doesn't do his own taxes, has experts who know the limit of the law. Fixed it for you putzes! He's the smoking gun!

Y'all funny... acting like Trump is sitting in front of his laptop on TurboTax. Big business people have people for that. Sorry this is so hard for you: Predict your taxes in advance, pre-pay, have writeoffs, good accountants, and settle up at year end. Why is this so hard for you to understand? If Trump loses the election it’s going to be war because he knows lawsuits and possible tax evasion await him.

Who leaked the taxes? _Politics Biden passed these tax laws! It’s his fault the rich pay nothing!! 47 years in politics and NOW he cares?! Bullshit! BidenHarris2020ToSaveAmerica The problem is that it’s working as designed. Our taxes go to Britain, so good on him! Tax avoidance may be legal but it reduces tax revenue and the wealth of society overall. The irony is that it exploits the people comprising much of Trumps supporter base. He’s not a disrupter, their just suckers.

Really they say that even though they have never seen his taxes? Fake news Business Enemy of the people = AP You’re a joke AP. Trump paid 750 more than Amazon. Sounds like he didn’t push all the limits. Where's the Beef? just heresay, made up crap without proof Pravda. Smells like you and the Dems are worried Biden cant do it on his own.

All totally legal. TrumpEconomy Why should the poor pay for the rich Who cares, no one likes to pay taxes especially when it finds the salaries of do nothing corrupt politicians so you interviewed the guy who works at “the left-leaning Center for American Progress” and he said something bad about Trump? c’mon AP, I know you think your liberal readers are dumb, but other people read your click bait, too.

Trump is a con man and a crook. Maybe he finally got caught. Shouldn’t the IRS do something if anything was illegal? So, basically he didn’t do anything illegal? I don’t understand why a businessman legally taking advantage of what our country’s tax code allows is even a story. Need to rewrite the tax code. No one should pay zero taxes.

Perhaps DT, you’ve been caught and we see you. TrumpKnew _Politics You speak as if he bought H&R Block software at the local Office Depot and did the return himself. As we know the IRS has a army of investigators. nothing burger..... FakeNews EnemyOfThePeople _Politics ‘To the limit’, ‘perhaps’. Translation, all you have are unfounded allegations based on illegally obtained second hand documents.

Trump pushed it to money laundering. _Politics He has gold gilt everywhere, he is given to over the top, but not real. A “smart” criminal crook. America is the victim. Maybe what the ultra rich do, the rich mob bosses BUT not the President of the United States‼️contributes NOTHING to America. Donates only to Trump!

So he didn’t do anything wrong? He was just better at it than his competitors? Sounds like that’s par for the course. _Politics Fake news Tried hitting my escape button today but I’m still here. Make America Sane Again November 3rd Don’t you realized no one cares about Trump’s tax returns ...... or at least none of his supporters do ...... :)

That’s ridiculous. None of the Uber wealthy should pay less than us! Those who do & stretch to the limit are worst Cheaters, thieves, enemies of common man. And then spout propaganda that portrays them as for blue collar workers, regular Americans, middle class. HA! Liars. Fakes Wowo AP, then you achieved to get expert opnions on something that nobody got full access to?! It is just some rumors and nothing concrete but you achieve to get expert opinions! That fantastic!! Great achievement sincerely!!!!

So where has the IRS been? Hiding in their cubicles. Breaking News: Tax Fraud Trump/Fake Billionaire is going to jail! Tax Fraud is a 5 Year jail term! He has only paid $750 dollars in taxes for two years. The only thing that prevents him from being locked up is he is a sitting president and can’t be jailed.

Wrong. Small business and farms also. So what It's the media's turn. We know in 2017 the nytimes took in 111 million and paid no taxes. You turn , is your corporation using the same loop holes? Only an imbecil thinks a person can spend 70k in haircuts. All legal. Rehashed tax stories. Please DEMS, impeach Trump! The squad, Pelosi, Schumer and Schiff are already the laughing stock of the political world. It would be fun to watch you get beat again. Also, please go after Amy so we can watch you lose all credibility and the female vote for Biden!

AriadneBoudicca Calling fraud and law breaking 'strategies' is beyond the bounds of political correctness. It is spin and propaganda. Lol If I try to do it with the meager paycheck I get, I'll be slap with evasion, fraud to name a few. Democrat vs Republican double std: in August, the WSJ’s Chris Jacobs exposed how Biden uses the S-Corporation loophole & avoided payroll taxes on nearly $13.3 million by classifying the income as S-corporation profits rather than taxable wages.

And to the genius who made this statememt. Did Trump violate the law? 70,000 dollars for hair? Pushing a bit too far? Yea, I think so... Trump broke. America woke. Biden paid $3.7 million in a career politician. Look forward to your report on that DNCMedia lol - business man uses widely accepted strategies to keep more of his money... I’m shocked.

A big nothing burger - except how the NYT illegally obtained tax documents in violation of the POTUS 4th Amendment rights. Oh please, the media and their, 'experts.' So these tax experts made this assessment without actually seeing his returns? Because if you have his actual returns you have committed felonies. I’m thinking you are making crap up, shame on you

but think how small his tax cut was! and to think the Dems had the control of Senate/House/Prez to do something about it and wasted time on moribund ACA? Obamalegacy I thought he was going to tidy up the loop holes. Fake News Trump didn't empty the swamp he just changed the ph level I get where a business may operate this way for a year or 2, but for 15 years? What bank is going to give loans to a man who has never turned a profit? Who would do business with him and think we’re going to make a lot of money?

Was it legal? Move on Plus he’s the president. The American people have been robbed blindly by this outrageous fraudster.either way you look at it someone has to pay, and it’s the average hard working citizen. Trump has deceived, lied, and acted criminally in this complete misuse of power and trust, make no mistake. Thief.

How ironic ... donnie is so loud about other countries not contributing their portion % of global funds yet while in the WH he’s sucking up our tax dollars, funds he never paid into himself! The point isn't the taxes, it's the debt: And they are NOT happy with him for giving up the game. $750..... ALL it takes to FCK US IRS.... StormyDaniels ❤️ takes $150.000 just to shut her mouth....

Oh please teach us all so we can do it to the limit (but not the breaking point) Don't hate the player, hate the game. For 8 of those years, the rule makers were Obama/Biden. Nothing illegal..... BLAME DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS FLAT TAX Stand up if your related to slave owners This is just wrong and must change.

Can we just rewrite the tax code so that these assholes have to pay for EVERYTHING in America? Hey Grow up Maybe we need to audit all “uber wealthy” people and see what they pay - maybe FB, Twitter, Google, Amazon owners Swamp monster loves swamp Americans need to demand our elected officials fix the system Our vote is our voice!

$70,000 for HIS hair? He needs a new barber! LOL Lock him up. Close these loopholes! NOW! You worked so hard to say, “Trump nearly erased his tax liability using legislation Obama passed.” Your outlet is garbage. Who paid off Kavanaughs debts? So he used the tax laws that our elected politicians wrote? Did Hunter Biden pay taxes on the millions of dollars from the Russians? The same millions the FBI missed during the Russian investigation? That why their phones were broken? Think for yourselves stopdrinkingthecoolaid

Experts say... they haven't even seen his illegally released returns. The swamp is crooked. Nancy Pelosi has been in Congress for 33 years Her annual salary at most is $193,400 Her net worth? AT LEAST $120,000,000 And she refuses to release her tax returns What is SHE covering up? 🤔 Average American household has 134K in debt with a net worth of 600K. Trump household has net worth of 3B with 300M in debt. Seems pretty good to me.

Told ya! Not perhaps, many people are saying he committed fraud. Repeatedly. The IRStaxpros need to appoint special panel to audit ultra rich tax filers to start rejecting suspect deductions and ask for additional records. This seems the government let’s rich slide when the middle class get banged for small errors. USGAO DOJPH

If NATO members should be paying their fair share to NATO shouldn’t the realDonaldTrump pay his fair share to America? Hypocrisy TrumpCrimeFamily '“unexplained” consulting payments' attributed to ivanka ie. money laundering. The IRS is calling foul. If they rule against him, he’s in a world of hurt.

Wealthy with poor heart. What a shame! What I find hilarious is that he isn't even wealthy let along uber wealthy. He's been faking it since he blew through his daddy's money. All smoke, mirrors; stealing from contractors, loans from crooked banks and the Russians. Caught slurping in the money river. And yet the IRS hasn’t done anything about it? Sounds like we have the smartest President we possibly could.

That’s what the IRS audit would determine not some jack leg NYT article. Wow. Thought this was another bomb shell. Another scud I see. 1. 'Surprisingly?' No, it isn't surprising. 2. 'Perhaps?' Why is virtually every 'walls closing in' story about Trump riddled with 'perhaps,' 'may have,' 'could mean,' 'some say,' and every other device that allows media to just say whatever they want vs. reporting responsibly?

The tax loopholes used by the wealthy are not available to middle America. You T rumpsters realize that right?🤔 I'm old enough to remember when he took in gullible people by saying he was a good person to reform the system and make the rich pay their share because he knew the system the best. What did he actually do? Pass more breaks for the super rich. Scammed.

Fake news These loop holes must be fixed Yet, he broke zero laws. So stop pushing this as news. End of news cycle. This is such a surprising piece of analysis from the AP. I loving all the replies from the 1040 EZ filers... Oh god. Enoooough with this garbage already. Doesn’t this crap get old? Your headline should read “trump did nothing on his taxes that every other single person could do”. Fu*k

Now do his debt problem and the security threat that comes with being the president. Pretty sure that doesn’t apply to all the Uber-rich tax cheats🙄 The IRS will determine that, not you and the nyt. Thanks for playing! I’m old enough to remember 2012 when mitt Romney said 47% of people did not pay taxes and called those people takers.

He’s a fraud What about the money laundering for the Russians? maggieNYT brianstelter jdawsey1 AshleyRParker Sulliview 🥱🥱🥱🥱😂😂😂😂😂 Lock him up! These 'strategies' hurt society as a whole. Avoiding taxes to allows loss instead of just letting some businesses die is unjust and keeps unfunded many necessities.

read the NYT Trump tax story to see what line was being reported for taxes owed you come across this about the $750 in 2016-17 Per the NYT own story, realDonaldTrump actually paid to the US Treasury $1 M in 2016 and $4.2 M in 2017. If it was illegal, we would have heard about it by now. Was he deferring the tax payment by reinvesting the profit? My opinion: Hey, Mr Trump, please teach us how to do that!

Nothing illegal. No Russian money. Another Nothing Burger. Onto the next pre- planned scandal Trump broke no laws...he is a tax genius. Overseas accts America First? He obviously hired great Tax Lawyers and CPA firms- common sense! You are being deceived, and you're all for it because you hate the guy. He is pushing the limits of our justice system as well. Awaiting the tipping point.

TrumPutin2020 🇷🇺 ShockedNotShocked Used a lot of words not to say illegal. Must have took all day to put that together Guys like him brag about using loopholes and tax cheats to get out of paying their fair share. Guess who gets left holding the bag? It's you! The poor slob that they don't give a shit about. Yeah! Tell me how wonderful Trump is while you make a fraction and pay the utmost in tax.

we need to tax the rich not give them tax brakes... I.E. He cheated and broke the law. So, what is new? Why are you comparing him to the uber rich? God I want his accountant team. Clearly, it was a game to him and a point of pride to see how little tax he could pay; and how much he could screw the IRS. Anyone with an ounce of street smarts knows Donald Trump operates like a hustler, a thug, from Queens. Even on his best days he can't show presidential decorum because it doesn't come naturally to him. Beating the system, pushing boundaries, & lining his pockets is in his DNA.

Shred up the wealth of the rich. They don't deserve to play the system to get off paying virtually nothing while regular citizens have to play by the rules. That said, screw Trump and I hope that both he and his conniving schemes all go up in flames together. How to monetize failure To the breaking point? IRS Commissioner should be fired. Additionally, it has been more than 4 years since the audit began. FIRE IRS Commissioner NOW!!!!

He violated our trust and put America in harm’s way again with his personal exposure to foreign debt. Anyone with a functioning brain already knew this. If there was nothing wrong with his taxes he wouldn’t have been fighting the courts for them not to be released lmaooo So he paid taxes due when he asked for extensions and also followed the tax code. So the news is...what exactly?!

He didn’t. And please make mention of Trump taking advantage of the Obama tax loophole. It really gets tiring reading all these bias articles 'Perhaps to the breaking point'? Deducting grooming services is illegal, even if you're a 'celebrity'. You guys are supposed to do the research... We need to know more information on the money laundering scheme at Deutsche Bank TrumpCrimeFamily TrumpTaxReturns

“Perhaps”? more anti trump GARBAGE Apparently he didn't break the law or you'd say so in a heartbeat The tax strategies the rich use are equally common among those of us who are of modest income and means. It's called following the US tax code as voted in by our government. Poor people ultimately pay little in taxes thanks to additional measures put in place.

You mean *unsurprisingly common. Exactly who is surprised to learn that the uber-wealthy furiously avoid taxes? Still pushing the failed “tax returns” narrative? 😂😂😂😂😂 Lol Trump doesn’t do his taxes. A swing and a miss!

Thousands march in Washington to pray and show Trump supportThousands of people packed the National Mall in downtown Washington on Saturday to pray and show their support for President Donald Trump . The march, which stretched from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol, was held just hours before Trump was set to announce he was nominating a conservative judge What?! Praying doesn’t go w Trump support...those are some pretty terrible Christians. The amount of damage Trump has created by lying about the coronavirus is breathtaking. Even with a vaccine the damage will be devastating for years to come.WearAMask

‘Sham,’ ‘Hit Piece’: Here’s How Trump Allies Are Spinning The Trump Tax StorySome Trump allies attempted to flip the script on Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, who was recently the subject of a probe by Senate Republicans. A hit piece...backed up with factual data. I don't know about you, but I believe numbers a hell of a lot more than heresay Dear do better and don’t fall for Trump and his “henchmen’s” bullshit. The NYT Tax piece is real and Trump is a fraud. Remember, any whataboutism here is a page from Russian propaganda strategy. WAKE UP!!! When they try and flip the switch to Hunter Biden, Let me remind you of the 18 trademarks in 2 months that Ivanka received from China. I am sure there was no quid pro quo there

‘Sham,’ ‘Hit Piece’: Here’s How Trump Allies Are Spinning The Trump Tax StorySome Trump allies attempted to flip the script on Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, who was recently the subject of a probe by Senate Republicans. Trump was protesting the corrupt Obama Administration by not paying taxes while he was President... Duhhh. I AM JESUS ​​CHRIST AND I DO NOT SUPPORT RACISM !! DONALD TRUMP IS THE OLD SERPENT 'THE DRAGON' 'THE DEVIL'. I WILL DEFEND AFRO-AMERICANS !! I came to step on the serpent's head. 'Revelation of the bible' End of the world TRUMP DEVIL APOCALYPTIC **yawn**

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NYT report says Trump paid $750 in US income taxes in 2016, 2017US President Trump, who is seeking re-election in November, paid no income taxes in 10 of the last 15 years, according to a New York Times report Even the poorest people in usa paid more taxes

Trump Paid $750 in U.S. Income Taxes in 2016 and 2017 (Report)The disclosure, which the Times said comes from tax return data it obtained extending over two decades, comes at a pivotal moment ahead of the first presidential debate Tuesday. Fake.