Donald Trump tax probes to include write-offs after $784k Ivanka sum

Clay Curtis
November 21, 2020

At the end of September, details of how the president had managed to avoid paying or paying very little taxes for years because he declared or carried losses in his personal businesses.

She was referring to a New York Times article that also said that the two investigating officials - the New York state and city state attorneys - had subpoenaed the Trump Organisation for more information.

Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump Organization, said in a statement that "this is just the latest fishing expedition in an ongoing attempt to harass the company".

The attorney for Trump's organization also responded to the allegations, "Everything was done in strict compliance with applicable law and under the advice of counsel and tax experts".

The New York attorney general's investigation set out to see if Trump Organization or Trump improperly inflated the value of certain assets in violation of tax laws or when seeking loans and the forgiveness of a $100 million loan.

Ivanka Trump, the elder daughter of President Donald Trump and White House senior advisor, has described two fraud investigations into the Trump Organisation's finances as "harassment".

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The records requests followed recent reporting in The Times, based partly on two decades' worth of Trump's tax filings, that the president had reduced his company's income tax liability over several years by deducting US$26 million in consulting fees as a business expense.

James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr, both Democrats, are both conducting wide-ranging inquiries into Trump's business affairs. Representatives for the Manhattan district attorney, NY attorney general and Trump Organization declined to comment.

The IRS at times rejects write off consulting fees if they were made to avoid taxes and don't reflect distant, professional business relationships.

These are just two of the legal challenges Trump faces when he leaves the White House. The Times reported that its unclear if the IRS ever raised questions to the Trump Organization about the write-offs.

The investigation has been stalled since last fall, after the president filed a lawsuit to block a subpoena for his tax returns and other financial records. That investigation is wide ranging and prosecutors have suggested in court filings it could include anything from insurance fraud, tax fraud or schemes to defraud - the equivalent of a federal bank fraud charge. Eric Trump is an executive vice president at the Trump Organization, running its day-to-day operations. The Times' analysis of Trump's financial records found that he had avoided federal income tax on nearly all of the forgiven debt. This was reported on Friday, November 20, by the American edition of the New York Times, citing sources familiar with the situation.

"The outcome of the election will have no impact on our investigations", James said in a television interview this month, adding: "No one is above the law".

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