5 things to know about Trump's taxes

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5 things to know about Trump's taxes

Likewise, the agency has plenty of experience with business people trying to pass personal expenses off as deductible business expenses, as the Times Trump suggests with things like haircuts and makeup. (The US tax court has expressly ruled That haircuts are not a business expense.) The story also describes how Trump employs conservation measures that allow people to claim charitable deductions by agreeing not to develop real estate to lower his taxes. Unfortunately for Trump, this is an area of ​​tax law that has been controversial lately and one that the IRS is particularly interested in.

The limits of the tax return: While the Times cites questionable deductions, it stops calling Trump a tax evader. This is probably because the president’s tax returns, although long considered the holy grail of understanding his finances, can’t tell you everything. Returns are little more than numbers, often with no explanation, which can make it difficult to know for sure whether a withdrawal is warranted.

Take the example of Ivanka Trump, who has apparently been named as an advisor. This could be a no show job – the stuff that could lead to a criminal investigation. Or it could be entirely justified. Probably only the IRS could find out in an audit if it has the power to require people to explain themselves. “These are allowable deductions if your company has actually provided $ 750,000 worth of services,” said Brian Galle, a law professor at Georgetown University. “There’s no real way to say it.”

“You’d have to hire someone to check what services the consultancy provided, and then you’d have to do an industry survey of which companies paid for that type of service. Because of this, checking rich people and complex companies is very time-consuming. and resource-intensive. “

Similarly, the report says Trump owes hundreds of millions of dollars – but to whom? Tax returns don’t say. “It’s really unusual for him to be in debt so far, and those debts are due soon – and of course it’s not really clear who the debt is owed to,” said Marcus Owens, a former leader IRS official. House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi underscored this issue on Monday, calling it a national security issue as it means his creditors have influence over him. “It’s exposed to hundreds of millions of dollars – to whom?” she told MSNBC. “The public has a right to know.”

IRS faces Trump: In a lawsuit filing Trump’s tax returns, House Democrats argue that they need the president’s filing to know how well the agency is implementing its longstanding policy of auto-auditing every president. They fear that the agency will spare him because the president is ultimately their boss. “It is important that the IRS presidential review program remains free from interference,” said Richard Neal, D-Mass., Chairman of Ways and Means, shortly after the Times story went public. But the account says the IRS has been battling Trump for years over a $ 73 million refund, which he requested. The details are fuzzy, but the mere fact that the two sides have been bogged down for years supports something IRS veterans have long claimed: the agency isn’t afraid to scrutinize the president.

The story also includes a surprise appearance by the Congressional Joint Tax Committee. Typically, when it comes to estimating the cost of lawmakers’ tax plans, the bipartisan agency also has a neglected role in stopping IRS audits when they come up with reimbursements in excess of $ 2 million. JCT does not have the authority to block payments, however an opportunity is given to question the details of the IRS exams. The JCT declined to discuss the issue, citing taxpayers’ confidentiality laws.

Sorry rich people: Democrats were pleased with the Times report because they know it will help their campaign to raise taxes on the rich. What they lacked, however, was a convincing idiot who pays no taxes. Next up might be big companies like Amazon. Trump will be a far more effective face on the cause. Expect Democrats to make sure voters hear a lot about Trump’s tiny tax charges – in television commercials, in presidential debates, on the campaign trail – on the way to election day.

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