Published: Wed, October 03, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump engaged in tax fraud, dubious schemes in 1990s

Trump engaged in tax fraud, dubious schemes in 1990s

"The New York Times published an investigative report on Tuesday stating that US President Donald Trump took part in illegal tax schemes that let him inherit "$400 million from his father's empire, much of it through dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud".

According to the Times, which cited confidential tax returns and financial records, Trump received today's equivalent of $413 million from the real estate holdings of his father, Fred Trump, who died in 1999.

Mr. Trump has often portrayed himself as a self-made man, noting during his presidential campaign that he received a "small" loan of $1 million from his father when he started out his career in real estate.

Donald Trump's parents transferred over $1 billion to their children over the course of their lives - an amount that could have seen a tax bill of at least $550 million.

Trump and his siblings helped their father dodge taxes by engaging in questionable tax schemes.

The paper's 14,000-word investigation provides one of the most detailed accounts of what happened to the fortune of Fred Trump, the father of the president and a New York City builder.

"The Tax Department is reviewing the allegations in the [Times] article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation", said James Gazzale, a spokesman for the New York Department of Taxation and Finance.

"The New York Times' allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory", Harder said in a statement.

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"There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone", Harder told the newspaper.

It also renews questions about what may be lurking in the tax returns Trump kept private as he ran for and assumed the presidency in January 2017.

Harder added: "The affairs were handled by other Trump family members who were not experts themselves and therefore relied entirely upon the aforementioned licensed professionals to ensure full compliance with the law". It says he helped cut his parents' tax bill through a strategy that undervalued their property assets by hundreds of millions of dollars.

The IRS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But the newspaper said its exhaustive investigation of a vast trove of tax returns and confidential records found this was not true.

The Times said it had unraveled a complex effort by Trump's father, Fred, to build and then pass along his wealth by examining more than 100,000 pages of documents from the businesses of Fred Trump. Still, they do raise questions about Trump's never-released tax returns.

Citing tax experts, the Times reported it was unlikely Trump would face criminal prosecution because the acts were past the statute of limitations.

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