September 28, 2020

"Ultimately, Mr. Trump has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life."

"'The Apprentice,' along with the licensing and endorsement deals that flowed from his expanding celebrity, brought Mr. Trump a total of $427.4 million.... He invested much of that in a collection of businesses, mostly golf courses, that in the years since have steadily devoured cash — much as the money he secretly received from his father financed a spree of quixotic overspending that led to his collapse in the early 1990s. Indeed, his financial condition when he announced his run for president in 2015 lends some credence to the notion that his long-shot campaign was at least in part a gambit to reanimate the marketability of his name.... There is far more useful information, he has said, in the annual financial disclosures required of him as president... [but] those public filings... simply report revenue, not profit. In 2018, for example, Mr. Trump announced in his disclosure that he had made at least $434.9 million. The tax records deliver a very different portrait of his bottom line: $47.4 million in losses.... [H]e has previously bragged that his ability to get by without paying taxes 'makes me smart,' as he said in 2016. But the returns, by his own account, undercut his claims of financial acumen, showing that he is simply pouring more money into many businesses than he is taking out.... Mr. Trump’s elaborate dance and defiance have only stoked suspicion about what secrets might lie hidden in his taxes. Is there a financial clue to his deference to Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin?... [T]he tax records revealed no previously unknown financial connection...."

From the big NYT article about Trump's taxes, which we started talking about here, last night.

It's very interesting that the NYT, strongly motivated to find tax crimes and connections to Russia, seems to have only found that Trump might be a faker — not the billionaire business genius he purports to be. But, it seems, the main thing he is doing is putting more money into his businesses than he takes out, and that may be a wise or at least legally authorized way to run his affairs. Now, he's forced to explain that to us, and maybe we will be outraged that the tax laws are currently arranged to allow people to escape taxes, but maybe we will accept instruction that the outrage should be directed at Congress... even at Joe Biden.

Why didn't Joe Biden do something about the tax laws — in all those years as a Senator? Is it because laws like that are actually good or because he's been in cahoots with the wealthy for decades?

173 comments:

rwnutjob said...

Joe Biden has been in government for 47 years. Why hasn't he fixed the tax code? NYT really doesn't understand real estate investing. You can legally show losses while taking millions out.

Ralph L said...

I can't think of anything Trump has done that Putin would like. They really need to move on from Muh Russia. Why haven't they looked at Mafia casino connections--too scared?

Dan in Philly said...

Succeeding in business is hard. I recall the trope during the last election that if Trump had simply invested his father's money upon inheritance in a index fund of the Fortune 500 companies, he would have done as well as he claimed to do in regular business. Of course the implication was that he wasn't that smart or talented. in reality, the statement meant that Donald Trump was at least a successful as the top 500 executives in the world, all of whom were highly driven, motivated, educated, etc. given that success in business means that you have to actually achieve results rather than simply pandering to special interest groups, I find it more impressive than a career as a senator.

Quayle said...

“ Mr. Trump announced in his disclosure that he had made at least $434.9 million. The tax records deliver a very different portrait of his bottom line: $47.4 million in losses....”

Are losses an emolument? Just asking our Constitutional Law Professor host.

Darkisland said...

He accumulated a net worth (what he owns minus what he owes) of $9 billion dollars as of 2015 FEC filing.

Seems pretty successful to me.

John Henry

David Begley said...

It is all about cash flow and depreciation.

Land, however, is not depreciable and therefore the golf courses might not be a great business. Trump, however, has an army of people working on his taxes daily.

stevew said...

Does anyone seriously believe that Trump has illegally paid little to no federal taxes over the years? If he had, even just once, he of all people would have been charged and convicted by now. That they resort to yelling that he is a crappy business man tells you what you need to know.

mezzrow said...

"maybe we will be outraged that the tax laws are currently arranged to allow people to escape taxes, but maybe we will accept instruction that the outrage should be directed at Congress... even at Joe Biden. Why didn't he do something about the tax laws — in all those years as a Senator? Is it because laws like that are actually good or because he's been in cahoots with the wealthy for decades?"

And the beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

You'd think we understood all this by now, but the lure to obscure the way the world works never ends. First, there's too much money in it, but mainly too many people love to believe pretty things over believing the truth. The actual temperature check is only a few weeks away now, and I'm really concerned about whether the thermometer can be trusted.

My real concern is over what those folks who don't like the result of the reading will do, at this point. Here's to a Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas.

Am I wrong, is that a new thing for American elections?

tim maguire said...

Big embarrassment for the Times. No crimes, so they are reduced to snide gossip. A better newspaper would have simply admitted the truth and moved on to more important things. Sadly, the Times stopped being a better newspaper a generation ago.

Michael said...

I received a draft of my 2019 tax filing yesterday. It is over 100 pages and might as well be in Chineses. I will owe more than $750 as I expect Trump did. I have zero confidence that the NYT’s parsing of the president’s returns are correct in the slightest. His must be reams.

peacelovewoodstock said...

No evidence that Trump did anything illegal, although laws were broken by whoever passed the records to the NYT.

On the other hand, tons of real evidence of Biden involvement in pay-to-pay corruption but apparently NYT deems that not fit to print.

Shouting Thomas said...

That is a news article?

Jersey Fled said...

Didn't we go through this early in Trump's (first) term, only to find that his net worth was something like $6 billion?

tim in vermont said...

"Mr. Trump’s elaborate dance and defiance have only stoked suspicion about what secrets might lie hidden in his taxes. Is there a financial clue to his deference to Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin?... [T]he tax records revealed no previously unknown financial connection....”

LOL, “We know he’s guilty, but evidence still eludes us!”

Jersey Fled said...

Also, no big loans from Russian banks, which they have been (mis)reporting for 4 years now.

stlcdr said...

Most people don't run businesses; in addition most people make it a point of pride to not understand tax laws - but will deem them 'unfair' because some people use the tax law to their advantage.

MacMacConnell said...

How did Joe and Jill Biden make $13 million last year?

gilbar said...

now do jeff bezos, and amazon!

Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, has made the same $81,840 salary for two decades.

After two straight years of paying $0 in U.S. federal income tax, Amazon was on the hook for a $162 million bill in 2019, the company said in an SEC filing on Thursday.
Of course, $162 million is still just a fraction of the $13.9 billion in pre-tax income Amazon reported for 2019 — roughly 1.2%,


wendybar said...

Because Joe Biden and all the merry little Congresscritters have done insider trading, and all kinds of other illegal for others to do things, and they want the loopholes for themselves and their donors that pay to bribe them to vote....THAT'S why they haven't changed any laws.

Qwinn said...

They were saving this for when they reaaally needed a distraction. I guess the ironclad evidence that it was the Dems and our resident lefties, not Trump, that have been Putin's tools all along qualifies. Between the primary sub source of the Steele Dossier being a Russian agent, and Hunter taking 3.5 million dollars for no explicable reason from the widow of the Mayor of Moscow, to the "old news" of Uranium One and $50k "speaking fees", what other conclusion is there?

The NY Times to the rescue!

michaele said...

Because of his having multiple businesses, I can't imagine that Trump has much to do personally with his taxes. An army of accountants go through the numbers, look for loopholes and advantages to the client and have him sign the final submissions. Frankly, I'd be more interested in seeing Obama's application to college and his grades...funny how they have never surfaced.

Marcus said...

Tax avoidance is the smart thing to do. The NYTimes brazenly left out several of the years covered by the tax returns they illegally obtained that show DJT paid over $70 million in income taxes (in the missing years). Pure propaganda.

THEOLDMAN

I used to suggest to my liberal dad that he could always pay more to the government at tax time than he owed....he never did.

tim in vermont said...

"It's very interesting that the NYT, strongly motivated to find tax crimes “

Isn’t that what the IRS does every year when they audit him?

Scotty, beam me up... said...

The Dems are shocked, I tell you, shocked to find multi-millionaires & billionaires paying so little in taxes. Well, they had a big hand in helping write our bloated tax code and in the process, helping their rich friends. And then the other rich people, who hire really good tax attorneys and accountants, take advantage of these tax breaks. Before he switched parties and ran as a Republican, Trump was a Democrat - I am guessing since he needed to get favors from the NY City and NY state elected Dems to help his businesses, just like the other rich people located there. As an analogy, consider this scene from “Casablanca” as Captain Louis Renault (representing the local government), raids Rick’s Cafe Americain:

Rick : How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault : I'm shocked! Shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier : Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault : [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
[aloud]

Wilbur said...

Cahoots. Gesundheit.

tim in vermont said...

I wish I could fake being rich as good as Trump.

TreeJoe said...

"The New York Times has obtained tax-return data extending over more than two decades for Mr. Trump and the hundreds of companies that make up his business organization, including detailed information from his first two years in office...This article offers an overview of The Times’s findings; additional articles will be published in the coming weeks."

And here we come to the heart of the matter. After 4 years of demands, the NYT illegally obtains the President's tax returns (meaning someone acted illegally to make them available). In their quest for crime, they found no crime. They found no hidden connections. In reality, they found nothing wrong.

So they are left with a plan to smear Trump over the way his finances are structured while not actually being able to say he's doing anything wrong. And they'll do that in many articles leading up to November.

Continuing on,

"In response to a letter summarizing The Times’s findings, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, said that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate” and requested the documents on which they were based. After The Times declined to provide the records, in order to protect its sources, Mr. Garten took direct issue only with the amount of taxes Mr. Trump had paid.

“Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015,” Mr. Garten said in a statement.

With the term “personal taxes,” however, Mr. Garten appears to be conflating income taxes with other federal taxes Mr. Trump has paid — Social Security, Medicare and taxes for his household employees. Mr. Garten also asserted that some of what the president owed was “paid with tax credits,” a misleading characterization of credits, which reduce a business owner’s income-tax bill as a reward for various activities, like historic preservation."

...Here the Times decides to use the phrase "misleading characterization of credits"....meaning that it's completely legitimate but doesn't LEAD the characterization the way they want. They couldn't say it's wrong, couldn't say it's a lie, so they chose "misleading characterization" because they really want the phrase tax credits to mean other things.

...

"In fact, those public filings offer a distorted picture of his financial state, since they simply report revenue, not profit."

Really. Would we say Amazon's gross revenue reported in 2018 offered "a distorted picture of financial state" because they paid no income tax and operated off a net-operating loss principle?

....

"And he has previously bragged that his ability to get by without paying taxes “makes me smart,” as he said in 2016. But the returns, by his own account, undercut his claims of financial acumen, showing that he is simply pouring more money into many businesses than he is taking out."

Read this and break it down. Seriously. This is WTF levels of journalism. He brags about his ability to get by without paying taxes and then when you look at how it's by re-investing his funds into many businesses so he can claim enough losses to cover his tax burden, while simultaneously re-investing in his own businesses. And those actions "undercut his claims" according to the Times.

....

Althouse and commentariat: I do not remember off the top of my head a NYT article more in need of a fisking.

Mikey NTH said...

How lovely that the press will go on this wild goose chase just as we get down to the final stretch.

rhhardin said...

Trump doesn't get any tax benefit for putting money into his businesses. He gets it from losses in those businesses. Not a benefit exactly, but a correction to the calculation of his income. Profits minus losses is income.

rhhardin said...

I think the NYT loses money. They don't pay taxes either.

rhhardin said...

There are companies whose business is buying troubled companies for their losses, which losses are an asset to a company making money. In addition they try to turn the company around and win a second time.

Temujin said...

This is a known known. Every business person, whether a multi-millionaire buying up huge chunks of real estate, or a guy who owns a pizza shop on the corner, is trying to do as much as possible to hold onto his or her own money- to reinvest into their business to help it grow, and to eventually pay themselves more- call it a reward- for all of the hard work, high stress risk, and time of life it takes to build up a business, large or small.

The difference between small and large businesses are many, but one of the keys is that the multimillionaire opening up huge golf resort can also afford the best tax attorneys and accountants to help him or her hide as much as they can from the government. This is the day in and day out task of any business person: to keep as much as their own money as they can and not let the government confiscate their money. Money that equals their time of life. The government believes it is their money.

That Trump's tax returns may show a loss does not mean that Trump is a bad business person. It does not tell the NY Times very much. It tells the rest of the country that the IRS, handing out this leak, is still running illegally, as it did during Obama's time and before. Seriously- what's the difference between the IRS and FBI? Two letters.

I don't care what the NY Times says about Trump's tax returns. I don't want to hear any of the millionaires such as Nancy Pelosi, who's life has been made on the backs of government contracts for her husband, how not reporting certain income is criminal. Trump built businesses and employed people in the free market. Not more government employees (until he became President). In doing just that, he did more for America than most any career politician in Washington DC.

NYC JournoList said...

Did Letitia James leak these records to the NY Times? Elot Spitzer used to have meetings with the Wall Street Journal to provide their reporters with info from his investigations before he filed it with the courts. Does the times really have the complete records? Are they fakes or incomplete? Do the Federal financial disclosures include depreciation and amortization, or are they on a cash basis, remdering much of the excerpt apples and oranges. Biden’s taxes show millions in revenue yet he is retired. Who paid him what for those speeches?

Tina Trent said...

It's pretty rich that the NYT is pointing fingers at other people who couldn't make a go at business.

Without a sugar daddy, to add.

Unknown said...

"has obtained tax-return data extending over more than two decades for Mr. Trump and the hundreds of companies that make up his business organization, including detailed information from his first two years in office."

"hundreds of companies that make up his business organization"

Why would he take losses on his personal tax return? This sounds plausible for him 20 or 30 years ago when Trump inc was Donald Trump. Today each entity will take the profit/loss, depreciation etc separately. As a director he will take fees and dividends which will appear in his tax return. I would expect his tax return in the last few years to be fairly similar from year to year. Any losses on an individual project will stay with that project and used going forward to lessen profit and therefore tax liability. It looks like fake news to me.

DarkHelmet said...

Is the NYT not aware that tax accounts are not calculated according to GAAP? By design, all business and individuals do tax accounting to maximize losses/minimize gains on a taxable basis. What Trump's tax accounting shows in any given year or collection of years is unlikely to indicate whether he made money in economic terms or not.

But the NYT doesn't actually care whether Trump made or lost money, the NYT only cares about finding another cudgel with which to beat OrangeManBad.

Howard said...

My Hero!

iowan2 said...

Do you know what actual rich people avoid like the rona? CASH. Cash is meaningless until it is in action.
The portions cut and pasted is very obviously narrative setting. Opinion by a person that has no concept of business. Nothing wrong with working for a wage, it is an honorable way to contribute to society, but the United States is the economic titan, it is, depends on entrepreneurs like President Trump. The media is depending on the combined ignorance of the population to spin this bit of fiction.

16 hours of examination prove, no financial crimes, no foreign collusion. This NYT piece is as accurate as everything else the media has presented. ie, lies

ConradBibby said...

I don't understand this line of attack. All the leftist messaging is ostensibly anti-billionaire, but here they're essentially attacking Trump for not being rich ENOUGH. This implies that he's not fit to be president?? The logic escapes me.

As for the suggestion that Trump didn't/doesn't pay enough taxes, they used this exact same attack in 2016 and it got them nowhere.

Todd said...

Is there a financial clue to his deference to Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin?

What if the f*ck are they talking about? In what way has Trump deferred to Russia? Did he say that he may could "be more flexible after the election"? No, that was the other guy.

These "journalists" [/sarc] really, really need to seek medical help. They are projecting and wishcasting so much, they are living an an alternate reality. The fact that all of their co-workers are very likely still patting them on the back for speaking "truth to power" should qualify the lot for the asylum.

Xmas said...

The big problem with trying to work through Trump's taxes is that if his holdings are all buildings and entertainment venues, most of his "losses" are going to be depreciation of physical assets. But, at the end of the day, if he sells a piece of property, the actual value is going to be something gigantic.

The golf courses, for example, are going to look awful on paper with all those buildings and equipment.

Then there is some shenanigans with "consulting" services and multiple layers of holding companies. But this is tax lawyer work and I would be surprised if it is outside the norms of Real Estate corporate structures.

Temujin said...

Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post, had no comment on this story.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Who would have guessed that Trump, of all people, would turn out to the cleanest politician of our generation.

Amadeus 48 said...

Donald Trump is a huckster and self-promoter?

Why, I never...

Actually, it is essential to his personality and part of his charm, such as it is. I have been surprised at how well he has done the job of POTUS, and I look forward to voting to re-elect him.

The Demmies are not offering a credible alternative. "Plugs" Biden, the feeble geriatric with the porcelain-plated smile? Kamala "Giggles" Harris? "Peaches" Pelosi, the Impeachment Queen?
"Chuckie Smiles" Schumer? Heaven help us!

Amadeus 48 said...

If you want to read about how tax authorities can use the tools at their disposal in dubious ways, read an unbiased account of how Robert Jackson, later revered for his service as Solicitor General, Attorney General, Supreme Court Justice, and Nuremberg prosecutor, went after Andrew Mellon in a purely political vendetta to discredit the opponents of FDR.

Quaestor said...

Is it because laws like that are actually good or because [Biden has] been in cahoots with the wealthy for decades?

Can't extort none o' dat sweet, sweet graft from po'folks.

roesch/voltaire said...

The con has avoided service to our country and paying a fair share of taxes, and now you know why the elite liked the additional tax cuts he passed along. Meanwhile the rest of us pick up the tab and pay the bills to keep the country running. Oh and of course continue to vote for the con man because?

Tom T. said...

It's amusingly hypocritical that after years of arguing that Trump's tax returns must be made public, the Times is now concealing them.

Roy Lofquist said...

Is not The Times in possession of stolen property?

Drago said...

David Begley: "It is all about cash flow and depreciation."

Careful!

Talk of depreciation, net loss carry forward, cash flows etc makes readering cry.

Alot.

Drago said...

How interesting that the Biden camp had another commercial teed up to run at the same moment the NYT ran their smear story.

Just like the "suckers and losers" hoax by the Atlantic.

What a coincidence!

Right?

jim said...

My reading was that he had to sign the loans personally. I suppose the backing was personal income and assets. Like the banks were not willing to finance another Trump corporate bankruptcy. I wonder why not?

And BTW, who here is down with shooting up some October vintage Trump Vaccine© for the Trump Flu© ?

iowan2 said...

rhhardin said...
There are companies whose business is buying troubled companies for their losses, which losses are an asset to a company making money. In addition they try to turn the company around and win a second time.


Enter Bain Capital. Romeny's company, they bought up troubled companies, sold off profitable revenue centers, either refocused that money, plus new capital, into the unprofitable and turned it around, or sold off the assets to hold its money together... while using past losses to balance against current profits, reducing tax liabilities. How do you suppose you report that in a tax return? Then if there were 4 more of the same all bundled into a one page attached schedule. If you cant understand this simple bit of accounting, you likely are influenced by the NYT propaganda.

iowan2 said...

The con has avoided service to our country and paying a fair share of taxes,

Simple question. Should we eliminate the ability to carry losses forward, to offset current and future profits?

Giovan Pietro Bellori said...

Joe Biden wrote the tax laws r/v, not Donald Trump. But do give us your insights into business and not living off the taxpayer.

narciso said...


Interesting


https://mobile.twitter.com/philllosoraptor/status/1310567000196952064

Wince said...

How can Biden use this in the debate?

All Trump has to do is say it's much easier for politicians like Biden to get rich running a skimming operation.

Kevin said...

"Ultimately, Mr. Trump has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life."

And ironically he's been more successful being the President than the career politicians who've played the part.

tim in vermont said...

" and now you know why the elite liked the additional tax cuts he passed along. “

Why are the “elites” then almost uniformly lined up against Trump? Oh, I forgot, you don’t do logic and evidence, like a lot of other people here.

"Meanwhile the rest of us pick up the tab and pay the bills to keep the country running”

Biden has already promised a tax cut for the rich, rich Californians and rich Manhattanites who spread their local tax burdens on the rest of America by deducting them off of their federal taxes.

Oh, I forget, you don’t do facts and logic.

Birkel said...

This just in:

Jeff Bezos is not actually worth $120 billion.
If he tried to liquidate his stock the price per share of Amazon stock would fall precipitously. And the news of his complete sellout would roil the market, depressing the prices of most publicly traded stock. I would say his overall liquid worth is less than a quarter of what Bezos pretends to have.

Therefore, according to the logic of the NYT, Jeff Bezos is not rich.

tim in vermont said...

"Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, has made the same $81,840 salary for two decades.”

I was told by a goodie two shoes accountant that that kind of stuff would be sure to trigger trouble from the IRS since it’s an obvious underpayment for value. You know, especially since dividends are taxed at a lower rate than salary. I guess not if you own the Washington Post though.

Michael said...

RV
And how many people are in your employ?

Mike Sylwester said...

Are we supposed to think that there's something wrong with pouring more money into businesses than taking money out?

MadisonMan said...

Why didn't Joe Biden do something about the tax laws — in all those years as a Senator?

My exact reaction. This whole kerfuffle really underscores the nothingness of Biden. I've also learned a lot of FB friends cannot distinguish between income and wealth, and don't understand depreciation. But -- this does give them something to focus on, because to focus on Biden and his mental acuity would be wrong.

Fernandinande said...

"Mr. Trump’s elaborate dance and defiance have only stoked suspicion about what secrets might lie hidden in his taxes."

Mr. Obama's elaborate dance and defiance only stoked suspicion about what secrets might lie hidden in his birth certificate.

I bet They never wrote anything like that.

tim in vermont said...

"but apparently NYT deems that not fit to print. “

They printed it, there is lots of it around in old issues, a good one comes up if you search the times for Hunter Biden ethical, burlsma and “indian tribes” since his company bilked an Indian tribe out of millions and got away with it because it was impossible to prove that they *intended* to bilk that tribe out of their money.

But the people doing that research have long since been re-assigned to stuff that is more helpful to the narrative. Probably one of the people who did that research into the Bidens was tasked with looking over this tax return and came away “What the fuck?” when compared to the Biden dirt he was yanked from by the Clinton political machine, of which the Times is a part.

Probably Joe swore on his “honor as a Biden” (remember that one?) that they wouldn’t find anything else, besides the tons of dirt they did find.

Gahrie said...

The con has avoided service to our country and paying a fair share of taxes,

Which would qualify him as a Democratic politician. By the way, who do you know who doesn't try to avoid paying taxes?

and now you know why the elite liked the additional tax cuts he passed along. Meanwhile the rest of us pick up the tab and pay the bills to keep the country running.

Complete and utter bullshit. The wealthy pay far more than their share of taxes, the top 1% of taxpayers pay more than the bottom 90% combined.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

"Now, he's forced to explain that to us"

No, he's not

It's the garbage NYT, and if they have it, it's because they stole it

Ignore it, ignore them

roesch/voltaire said...

I suspect folks in his accounting firm are leaking, in disgust at his dishonesty, and more revelations will follow in the coming weeks. Grab some pop corn and enjoy.

Mark O said...

The lawyers in the SDNY office should all be put on polygraph. Or dismissed.

JAORE said...

Between unfaithful electors will vote Hillary to Meuller will have him taken into custody it's all become so very predictable. The concept is Trump is so very, very awful we will roll over just one more rock and the truth will ooze out.

25th Amendment. Emollients clause. Russia-Russia-Russia. The Ukraine abuse. Impeached!

But, boy, if we ever (illegally or not) get his tax records he would go DOWN! We'd have definitive proof that.... he avoids taxes whenever he can. Multiple more NYT articles to follow.

SensibleCitizen said...

I think this notion that DJT is a billionaire "faker" is slightly humorous.

If you start with $1m and earn a 10% ROI each year, in 18 years you will have $5m. Trump turned $1m into a BILLION dollars in roughly that period of time.

The path to affluence is much simpler via high-paid skills like doctor, lawyer, airline pilot. Making a $1m into $2m is extraordinarily difficult. Making $1m into $1B is virtually impossible today without taking your company public. Trump Inc. is still a private enterprise.

The press smeared Carly Fiorina's run as CEO of HP in the same way. She was by any objective measures one of the most extraordinary CEO's of the 20th century. She created more wealth for her shareholders in six years than JD Rockefeller who worked 30 years, and she did it at a company that was about to go under.

Laslo Spatula said...

Read Alexandriathechick's tweets.

"Read that closely. Trump PAID, as in transferred to the US Treasury, $1 million in 2016 and $4.2 million in 2017. Note also that most of the overpayment was rolled forward, not refunded. The $750 figure is an ADDITIONAL $750. Thus every single story saying he paid $750 is a lie."

The Times didn't even read nor comprehend their own story.

I am Laslo

William said...

The people pledged to maintain the inviolability of tax returns are the same kind of people who are pledged to maintain the integrity of the ballot.....If, taking them at their word, Trump has been a failing businessman for decades, then that only increases my respect for him. It takes more imagination and ingenuity to keep a scam like that going for years than it does to actually make a billion dollars....This will not affect my vote, but it might do Trump some harm. If there were any political gain to be had from releasing the returns, he would have released them.....Interesting to note all the shady characters who never had their tax returns leaked to the press. This leaking and subsequent press coverage only serves to reinforce Trump's assertion that the deep state and the media are in cahoots to malign him. I get the sense that if someone leaked Hunter Biden's or Al Sharpton's returns to the Times, the editors would feel an ethical obligation not to use such illegally obtained material.....NBC waited until just the right time to slip that video out. The IRS mole waited until just the day before the debate to release this, or did the Times wait until just this day to print the story. Either way, it's manipulative. Elections shouldn't turn on such cheap tricks.

William said...

The people pledged to maintain the inviolability of tax returns are the same kind of people who are pledged to maintain the integrity of the ballot.....If, taking them at their word, Trump has been a failing businessman for decades, then that only increases my respect for him. It takes more imagination and ingenuity to keep a scam like that going for years than it does to actually make a billion dollars....This will not affect my vote, but it might do Trump some harm. If there were any political gain to be had from releasing the returns, he would have released them.....Interesting to note all the shady characters who never had their tax returns leaked to the press. This leaking and subsequent press coverage only serves to reinforce Trump's assertion that the deep state and the media are in cahoots to malign him. I get the sense that if someone leaked Hunter Biden's or Al Sharpton's returns to the Times, the editors would feel an ethical obligation not to use such illegally obtained material.....NBC waited until just the right time to slip that video out. The IRS mole waited until just the day before the debate to release this, or did the Times wait until just this day to print the story. Either way, it's manipulative. Elections shouldn't turn on such cheap tricks.

Howard said...

Greg the class trader: You mean ignore Trump Tax returns like youpeople ignore the stolen Climategate emails? So having standards is good, then double standards must be better.

tim in vermont said...

"I suspect folks in his accounting firm are leaking,”

Since it was recently ordered by the courts that his tax returns be turned over to Democrat hack Cyrus Vance in the Southern District of New York, and since the leaks followed soon thereafter, I can’t see where you get that idea. But you don’t do evidence and logic either, like a lot of people here, you just jump from your unshakeable assumptions to your favored conclusions as quick as you can because “thinking is hard!"

bagoh20 said...

Much of my criticism of Trump during the primaries in 2016 was on his relative success as a businessman, which I didn't find that impressive given his starting point. That is mostly irrelevant now, except for the experience it gave him in running large enterprises. He has been President for 4 years. That's what matters now. Biden has been in office for 12 times as long, so we have his record too.

I was surprised how much Trump did what I wanted from a President. I don't agree with it all, but the four years has been exceptional by my standards and my agenda. People with different agendas could rightly see him as a terrible President, especially if you like government regulation and open borders, but I hardly ever hear him criticized fairly for that. It's mostly just personal attacks and unfounded dictator, racist, sexist, Hitler, meanie bullshit based on nothing.

We have a really good idea of how these men will handle the job of President. Isn't that the only question before us?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Where's the NYT piece on Hunter Biden? and all the nice things his powerful fathered did for him... at the expense of the American Tax payer.

pacwest said...

That's just the setup. "More to follow" is where the meat is. The Times will be able to paint some harmful pictures by presenting piecemeal reporting over the next 4 weeks. We'll never see the complete records. I think they came out too early given the quick newscycle, although the timing might have something to do with the upcoming debates.

Tax records are a not a good way to guage financial health. I'd love to see his individual company's Financials. Mostly to see how overleveraged he is. That would be the telltale, but he's been around long enough I doubt if it's the house of cards the Times will try to make it. I'm assuming all of his businesses are privately held though. We'd need some espionage to get those.

Now we know what the SDNY was all about.

Crunching numbers is fun!

tim in vermont said...

"Making a $1m into $2m is extraordinarily difficult.”

Ummm, only if you are trying to do it by saving or with passive investments. The old adage, “The first million is the hardest” is still true, though the number might be a little higher, but it assumes you are actively investing in businesses, often investing in your own successful business rather than taking out income.

tim in vermont said...

It’s pretty clear from the facts here that the SDNY found these a dead end investigation wise, so they went for the cheap political hit, which is what Roberts expected, I am sure.

Drago said...

r/v: "I suspect folks in his accounting firm are leaking, in disgust at his dishonesty, and more revelations will follow in the coming weeks. Grab some pop corn and enjoy."

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Mazar's USA (as part of Mazar's Global) has a sterling reputation and wouldn't be caught dead leaking anything to anyone.

It was Cy Vance's office or the SDNY or someone directly within the IRS that leaked it to a cutout who then provided it to the Times.

But I guess it was naturally going to be another OMG The Walls Are Closing In! moment for our resident lefty morons, of whom r/v is a charter member.

tim in vermont said...

"The lawyers in the SDNY office should all be put on polygraph. Or dismissed.”

Cyrus Vance Jr, son of Jimmy Carter’s chief of staff, I think, and lifelong Democrat hack will get right on that sir!

wild chicken said...

I turned on tv to see the outrage on bloomberg and cnbc this morning and - nothing.

It's almost as if this sort of thing is normal.

Drago said...

I'm betting r/v didn't even know the name of Trump's accounting firm (the same firm he has used throughout his entire professional career and the same firm that Fred Trump used prior to that.

Mazar's USA is over 100 years old and has over 14,000 employees and the global firm, Mazar's Group, which also supports preparation of tax forms for the Trump Organization, has over 24,000 employees across 91 countries.

I'm guessing those guys know what they are doing but it appears LLR-lefty C****, readering and r/v think they've finally got Trump!1!!11eleventy!11!!!

bagoh20 said...

"Meanwhile the rest of us pick up the tab and pay the bills to keep the country running"

I doubt that you are one of the ones paying. Almost half of Americans pay less than their fair share, i.e. pay more into government than they take.

The rich pay for the country plain and simple. Not always every year, but eventually they pay the bills, not you. They also provide the jobs, take the risks, and still die from the same things in the same time. Being rich is not really worth the price you pay for it. You pay taxes on huge amounts of income you can't possibly spend or enjoy in a human lifespan.

Michael K said...

Blogger Amadeus 48 said...
If you want to read about how tax authorities can use the tools at their disposal in dubious ways, read an unbiased account of how Robert Jackson, later revered for his service as Solicitor General, Attorney General, Supreme Court Justice, and Nuremberg prosecutor, went after Andrew Mellon in a purely political vendetta to discredit the opponents of FDR.


Andrew Mellon was dead by the time he was finally exonerated.

As far as Trump having done as well if he had invested his inheritance in index funds, there were no index funds at that time. Also, he would have to have been able to predict the future. Like the 1994 election setting off a bull market.

Guess why it did.

rcocean said...

Joe Biden voted for all the lax banking laws that led to the 2008 Financial crash. Wall Street and the Banksters love him. Assuming he's functional a Biden administration is easy to forecast. He'll reinstate the "Invade the world, invite the world" policy of Obama, Amnesty will be giving through executive order, immigration laws will be trashed and open borders instated. Election laws will be twisted to give the D's and advantage, the filibuster gotten rid of, and PR and DC made states. Will Biden pack the SCOTUS? He hasn't said No. Will Biden rein in the riots and Antifa? He hasn't said so. He'll "Help" out the workers by signing TPP and bad trade deals and help China dump their goods here.

He's like a Dopey Senile version of John McCain.

bagoh20 said...

"Ultimately, Mr. Trump has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life."

Which is just another enviable accomplishment being criticized while also being coveted.

hombre said...

“Is there a financial clue to his deference to Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin?... “

His deference to Russia? This ignominious fish wrapper has severed its ties to reality in defense of its undeserved Pulitzers and TDS.

Some of the rest of us have seen the indisputable evidence pointing to the Clintons’ and the Bidens’ as beneficiaries of Russian largess despite media cover.

Achilles said...

tim maguire said...

Big embarrassment for the Times. No crimes, so they are reduced to snide gossip. A better newspaper would have simply admitted the truth and moved on to more important things. Sadly, the Times stopped being a better newspaper a generation ago.

Walter Duranty thinks is was more than a generation ago.

I agree with him.

Gordon Scott said...

It's almost certainly not someone from SDNY. It's probably someone from the New York state tax agency. They have copies of both Trump's federal and state returns. Andrew Cuomo has stated more than once that he wanted to give Trump's returns to Manhattan DA Vance and SDNY.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

It actually pisses me off that so many of the ultra-wealthy get away with such skimpy taxes.

That is by design.

Both parties are to blame - but mostly democrats who continue to hike taxes on the working class and self-made folks.

Warren Buffet sang about this crap years ago.

That said, I am very skeptical of anything from the NYT or WaPo - both mouth-pieces for the democrat party. I'd never vote for the corrupt democrat party no matter what.

Joe Smith said...

I am guessing that Trump pays thousands of employees who work at his businesses.

Salary, health care, etc.

How many journalists and/or congressmen sign the fronts of checks that put food on the table of two or three, let alone thousands.

Again, Trump is the man in the arena...he's a doer...he takes risks and often fails.

But at least he's trying, and I would bet my house on the notion that his employees love him.

Drago said...

alexandriabrown@alexthechick
"Also, I'm going to post this one more time for those in the back. Trump paid $1 million in taxes in 2016 and $4.2 million in taxes in 2017 and, per the NYT story, most of that money was rolled forward. Stop LYING. Start READING. Just. Stop. Lying."

Uh oh.

Cue Sad Trombone for the Althouse resident leftists readering, r/v and LLR-lefty C****.

Drago said...

I guess it was only a matter of time before the democraticals and their LLR-lefty lap poodles would attempt a Harry Reid/Mitt Romney taxes paid lie.

It was inevitable, wasn't it?

Joe Smith said...

There's a term for it (not a biz wiz so somebody chime in)...something about debt being good.

Essentially it's about using other people's money to get rich.

The old story goes; If you owe the bank $100,000 it's your problem. But if you owe the bank $100,000,000 then it's their problem...

Greg The Class Traitor said...

jim said...
And BTW, who here is down with shooting up some October vintage Trump Vaccine© for the Trump Flu©

Wow, Jim, way to double down on "I am a total nut"

Greg The Class Traitor said...

roesch/voltaire said...
I suspect folks in his accounting firm are leaking, in disgust at his dishonesty,

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53353953

Pretty sure we have some corrupt NY Prosecutors to "thank" for this

Readering said...

Vote for Trump because Biden enabled him!+

traditionalguy said...

The bottom line tax paid is as low as possible because an owner of improved real estate claims a depreciation deduction on a formula presuming the real estate is worth less each year that it gets older when in truth it gets more valuable. The Government takes its profit when the property with a reduced basis from the deductions is sold, but that tax day can be postponed forever by not selling but refinancing or avoided by a 1031 Exchange, and finally only taxed at capital gain rates, or it can be owned until there is the step up in basis at death which erases the tax for the heirs.

Craig said...

I couldn't care less how much any politician pays in taxes, as long as they are following the law. If the law is broken, fix that.

Bilwick said...

I eagerly await the NYT's reports on the tax returns of Hillary Clinton, Joe'n'Hoe, Pelosi and the rest of the gang.

Bilwick said...

I eagerly await the NYT's reports on the tax returns of Hillary Clinton, Joe'n'Hoe, Pelosi and the rest of the gang.

Martin said...

If the NYT thinks that tax returns showing more money going into real estate investment than is coming out shows bad bsuiness acumen, they need to find a good real estate tax accountant.

And if after all this there is nothing the NYT can package as a sign of a Russian connection or criminal activity, Trump must have been more scrupulously honest than even I thought.

Michael said...

R V typed. “suspect folks in his accounting firm are leaking, in disgust at his dishonesty, and more revelations will follow in the coming weeks. Grab some pop corn and enjoy.”

So the accountants preparing his returns are preparing them dishonestly? Or they have a sad on professionally that they are able to save him millions? Or they don’t understand depreciation and the difference between cash flow and EBITDA?

And if the times has the tax returns as they say they do what more “revelations” are yet to be revealed?

Lefties wandering into tax or income statement or financial matters of any kind is always entertaining. Just every time.

Yancey Ward said...

As I wrote last night- you have to have a taxable income to pay income taxes in any given year. Trump isn't like most people who work for someone else, getting salary and wages every week or two. Trump is like most very wealthy people- he lives on the gains of his past investments year to year, liquidating them at various opportune points to fund his lifestyle. I promise you- he paid taxes on those liquidations at every point where they were legally due- that is the take-away point from yesterday's story- you don't get an $80,000,000 refund without having paid at least that much in taxes in the past at some point.

When you are living on investments, you can minimize the tax bite in a variety of ways- investing in tax-free investments like municipal bonds and by realizing your "gains" by selling losing investments. As I wrote last night, I have been retired for 11 years. I have paid exactly zero federal income taxes in those 11 years, while my total portfolio of investments is now twice what it was in 2009. This isn't rocket science, and I am not even a real estate investor with access to the tool of depreciation of fixed assets either.

I can't read the entire article because of the paywall, but the various parts I have seen quoted in the media tell me that the reporters went to great lengths to obscure the total amount of taxes Trump paid over those 20 years. What was the net taxes paid in those 20 years? We don't know because the NYTimes refused to tell us- they want you only looking at two instances where Trump paid $750. If you have hundreds of millions of dollars in already taxed realized income, you don't have a tax bill due every year- this is what it means to be really wealthy- you aren't working on salary or wages.

minnesota farm guy said...

As a reminder here's what Judge Learned Hand said about taxes:

“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.”

While at B School I took a real estate course from one of the then moguls of NYC real estate. It is an incredible game of investing in cash flows, depreciation and then selling off depreciated assets to someone else who can take advantage of the cash flow and the new depreciation schedule arising from the sale. It is a game that seems to have its own rules and if you know how to play by them you can be a real winner while looking very much like a loser. Depreciation on real estate can also be used to shelter other income . Again making one look cash poor to the tax man when, in fact, you are rolling in the stuff. As I surmised last night the reporters at the NYT have no clue how that game is played; clearly assuming that showing a TAX loss means you had a cash loss.

The essence of this illegal exposure of Trump's taxes is to prove that he is no dummy and pays no more taxes than he has to. If the law says $0 then why pay more.

tim in vermont said...

"Wow, Jim, way to double down on 'I am a total nut’"

He just vomits up what he has been fed, like so many. I have heard this take IRL from people you would think would know better.

Drago said...

Howard: "Greg the class trader: You mean ignore Trump Tax returns like youpeople ignore the stolen Climategate emails? So having standards is good, then double standards must be better."

LOL

Antifa, the group you praised as modern day Normandy invaders for months and months and months.....do they exist, or not?

Let's see Howard squares this circle based on the latest democratical narrative shift.

Should be fun.

DavidUW said...

Any real estate investor who pays taxes beyond property taxes needs to fire his accountant.

Drago said...

roesch/voltaire: "The con has avoided service to our country and paying a fair share of taxes, and now you know why the elite liked the additional tax cuts he passed along."

LOL

5 deferment Biden (including a claim of asthma from this high school football player and lifeguard) would like a word with you.

And the tax lie took about 2 hours to debunk. That might be a new record!

You know, I was thinking readering is the new Inga, which is true, but r/v is giving readering a real battle as the Most Inga-ist of All.

Let's see who is still standing by election day. Has anyone set up a pool yet on this one?

Achilles said...

Howard said...

Greg the class trader: You mean ignore Trump Tax returns like youpeople ignore the stolen Climategate emails? So having standards is good, then double standards must be better.



Trump's tax returns are private. Everyone should have a reasonable expectation that their tax returns will not be stolen and leaked.

Original research results and documentation and discussion within a group of people are not private and nobody believes there is a reasonable expectation that fraud of this nature should be allowed to be kept private.

You are an idiot for thinking these are the same thing.

Robert Cook said...

"Again, Trump is the man in the arena...he's a doer...he takes risks and often fails."

Apparently, he is always failing. He's a "doer" whose doings make him a serial loser.

Sebastian said...

"He invested much of that in a collection of businesses, mostly golf courses, that in the years since have steadily devoured cash"

This is news?

"Mr. Trump’s elaborate dance and defiance have only stoked suspicion about what secrets might lie hidden in his taxes."

Sorta like Saddam defying weapons inspections?

"Is there a financial clue to his deference to Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin?... [T]he tax records revealed no previously unknown financial connection...."

So there was no news. Then why, oh NYT, was the gratuitous revelation of private tax records deemed "newsworthy"? (Yeah, yeah, I know for progs it's news that there is no Russian connection.)

"Why didn't Joe Biden do something about the tax laws — in all those years as a Senator?"

He was for them before he was against them.

"Is it because laws like that are actually good or because he's been in cahoots with the wealthy for decades?"

Joe will explain it any moment now.

Dave Begley said...

Warren Buffett's BRK has a consolidated tax return. So all the money he makes from GEICO and BNSF can be setoff with tax credits earned when his MidAmerican Energy sub spent $1b on windmills on Iowa.

Libs aren't complaining about that.

Michael K said...

How many journalists and/or congressmen sign the fronts of checks that put food on the table of two or three, let alone thousands.

How many Democrats have ever signed the front of a paycheck?

DavidUW said...

Couple other points

1) since when has the times reported a single number correctly. Never mind multiple pages of maths. They can’t do arithmetic, they can’t do taxes.

2) again, rich people don’t have W-2 income to any real degree. They build equity in their business and BORROW against it, spending the tax-free proceeds. This is precisely what Zuck did a few years ago. He borrowed $750m against his FB stock and bought a house, SF General, etc etc and didn’t pay a dime of taxes.

As I’ve stated before, if you want a constitutional wealth tax, treat such borrowings where the money isn’t reinvested in the business as the equivalent to income. Zuck would have paid $400m in taxes thanks to his California bracket.

Michael K said...

like youpeople ignore the stolen Climategate emails?

Wow ! Now we are getting to Howard's deepest religious beliefs.

Yancey Ward said...

Bleachbit,

Some people seem to believe that deductible losses can be created out of thin air. They can't be- I promise you this- the IRS doesn't allow people to do this. Every loss used in a deduction is a real loss- the IRS makes fucking sure of that. I have been audited in the past and had to prove a loss I claimed in 2004 was, in fact, a loss, and I am a nobody whose pelt any auditor would want on his trophy wall. And if a loss suddenly becomes a future gain, in some manner, then you get the bill for that, too.

I guess I would frame what Trump does this way, but scaled down so idiots like R/V, jim, and Readering understand it: Trump is like the guy who cashed in a portion of his stockmarket gains at some point and paid the tax bill due on $500,000 and put it in a saving/checking account and is living off of it for the next 20 years. During those twenty years, there is no tax due on that $500,000. Trump the individual is just like that guy, but with $500,000,000 in the bank, or whatever his cash position has been the last 20 years. Every so often, you top up the cash account from the invested portion of your portfolio, usually by selling the losing investments as much as possible to minimize the taxable gains. I have done this regularly for 11 years now to keep Uncle Sam from getting a single penny of my money, and all perfectly legal.

The Trump businesses, of course, pay all kinds of taxes- property taxes, payroll taxes, and income taxes at the corporate level, plus all the salaries, wages, and benefits of it's employees. This, I suspect, is why the NYTimes didn't want to publicize the returns themselves- it would counter the narrative they were clearly trying to create- that Trump pays no taxes. His businesses and him personally have probably paid hundreds of millions if not a couple of billion dollars in taxes in the last 20 years cumulatively. That is why they focused down to just that $750 figure that appears to be lifted from his personal tax forms for just those two years, and literally ignoring the other 18 years of tax returns he has personally fired. I wonder why they ignored those other 18 years?

Robert Cook said...

"The Dems are shocked, I tell you, shocked to find multi-millionaires & billionaires paying so little in taxes. Well, they had a big hand in helping write our bloated tax code and in the process, helping their rich friends."

No, they're not, and they're not even pretending to be. They did have a big hand in this, as did the Republicans, the other half of the US Uniparty. No legitimate criticism of either party regarding their dependably servile (and profitable!) bowing and scraping to their wealthy paymasters can exclude the other party.

Also, the many millionaires populating Congress are not just serving their rich friends, they're serving themselves.

tim in vermont said...

" the stolen Climategate emails?”

They were leaked, not stolen. The file was called “FOIA” and was assembled in response to a Freedom of Information Act request that “those in power” did all they could to dodge. The idea that they were “stolen” was spin with zero evidence to support it, just a lot of carefully selected factoids misrepresented and with broad hints that you should fill in the “gaps” (wink wink) which actually were known but were studiously ignored by the media.

Basically media SOP.

Readering said...

I am beginning to think Althouse commenters are Russian bots.

Original Mike said...

Blogger roesch/voltaire said..."The con has avoided service to our country and paying a fair share of taxes, and now you know why the elite liked the additional tax cuts he passed along. Meanwhile the rest of us pick up the tab and pay the bills to keep the country running."

YOU pay taxes? I'm surprised. Congratulations.

Original Mike said...

"Blogger Tom T. said..."It's amusingly hypocritical that after years of arguing that Trump's tax returns must be made public, the Times is now concealing them."

LOL

tim in vermont said...

"Everyone should have a reasonable expectation that their tax returns will not be stolen and leaked.”

Last I checked tax returns were not obtainable under FOIA, unlike those emails which surely were covered by FOIA.

If I were a lefty I would be pissed at the climate “scientists” involved who have done far more to undermine respect for the field than getting the truth out ever did. Anybody who followed the debate at the time could have predicted what was in those emails, what was amazing was to have the skeptics’ doubts confirmed so comprehensively. Exactly the opposite of what has happened here.

Yancey Ward said...

And yesterday's story proves the assertion I made here years ago- if there were any illegality in Trump's tax returns, they would have been published proven by the NYTimes in 2016, not today. Shorter NYTimes version of yesterday's story- "Nothing illegal found in Trump's 20 years of tax returns."

Of course, Readering and R/V are going with the, "You don't know what the NYTimes knows." However, we do know- the NYTimes explicitly said so yesterday.

bagoh20 said...

I'm sure the IRS is just letting Trump get away with paying low taxes because the employees there love him so much. The IRS is a hotbed of Trump deplorables.

Yancey Ward said...

Seriously, Trump does not do his own taxes- there have been paid accountants and lawyers hired specifically for this purpose, and it is their asses on the line for both criminal penalties, along with any financial penalties Trump himself would be liable for had auditors found inappropriate tax evasion techniques, which the NYTimes fully admits in yesterday's story that they didn't find.

wildswan said...

I'll have to read more, i.e. read comments by more knowledgeable people, But I'm getting the idea that Trump's tax attorneys have argued that certain parts of his business at various periods in the past became legitimate tax write-offs under Obama-Biden tax regulations because certain parts of the business lost money; and the NYT agrees with the whole argument which Trump's tax guys are making. This is the first time the NYT has agreed with Trump on anything.
Of course, the NYT has to snark it all which is the real meat of the article and say it all means that Trump is the usual yada yada based as usual on hidden documents in a disputed case, 10,000 boxes of financial statements suddenly as usual dumped on the public with captions on side explaining what to think (think the usual: "Bombshell Revelations Show BadMan in White House"). Realistic sound effects like gulls swooping on garbage are supplied in the shrill cries of horror and outrage rising from NPR and Joe and Mika and all the gang. Rinse, repeat... The group who analyzed this tax case in weeks were unable to find riots in Portland in four months. This kind of "reporting" is the new normal at the Times. I could never analyze all those records in relation to the relevant portions of tax code and I don't think the NYT did either. As it stands, the whole is just a pile of mud thrown at the public in the knowledge that no one can hope to sort out truth and falsehood before the election. If truth and falsehood have any meaning in relation to the tax code. My takeaway is that I'm sure the whole meritocracy has tax attorneys and I see, for the first time, the argument for the flat tax.

Yancey Ward said...

"The bottom line tax paid is as low as possible because an owner of improved real estate claims a depreciation deduction on a formula presuming the real estate is worth less each year that it gets older when in truth it gets more valuable. The Government takes its profit when the property with a reduced basis from the deductions is sold, but that tax day can be postponed forever by not selling but refinancing or avoided by a 1031 Exchange, and finally only taxed at capital gain rates, or it can be owned until there is the step up in basis at death which erases the tax for the heirs."

Exactly right. At a fundamental level, in real estate, the buildings and infrastructure do eventually reach a value of zero and are demolished and replaced with new investments- so the depreciation is appropriate- we can argue about the rate at which this is allowed, but we can't argue about depreciation itself. You can get taxed on the real gain (as defined in the IRS regulations) in value, but only if you sell the property. The buyer, of course, gets the remaining depreciation schedule, not a new one.

Drago said...

Readering: "Vote for Trump because Biden enabled him!+"

It is a hopeful sign that readering has already backed off his/her/xer moronic and now hilariously debunked claim that Trump only paid $750 in taxes.

The ability to adapt means that r/v has taken the clear lead in the Most Inga-ist Of All contest.

Let's see what readering does next to get back in the game. It's still early in this contest but r/v does seem to be accumulating points at an increasing pace.....

Original Mike said...

Blogger Laslo Spatula said...
"Read Alexandriathechick's tweets.

"Read that closely. Trump PAID, as in transferred to the US Treasury, $1 million in 2016 and $4.2 million in 2017. Note also that most of the overpayment was rolled forward, not refunded. The $750 figure is an ADDITIONAL $750. Thus every single story saying he paid $750 is a lie."

The Times didn't even read nor comprehend their own story."


So the $750 is like the additional amount I might owe at the end of the year, over and above my withholding and estimated payments? Can the NYT really be that stupid/ignorant or am I misunderstanding?

Original Mike said...

Looks like Yancey at 10:39 answered my question.

Original Mike said...

Jesus. How fucking dishonest of the NYT.

Stephen said...

"But, it seems, the main thing he is doing is putting more money into his businesses than he takes out, and that may be a wise or at least legally authorized way to run his affairs."

This takeaway shows either a lack of understanding or a wilful failure to understand.

FIrst, there is the idea that the main story is that he is "putting more money into his businesses that he takes out." The usual term for that would be "losing money," something that competent businessmen do not do.

Second, there is the missed point that apparently his real estate ventures all lose money, all the time. His main sources of income appear to be the apprentice and the licensing of his brand, both of which turn solely on his reputation as a real estate mogul, not his actual performance

Third, there is the missed point that he appears to be headed for financial armageddon, with huge payments coming up and no obvious cash flow to meet them, since it appears that he has sold all his stock. It's impossible to know for sure how his businesses have done over the past couple of years, but almost certainly they've gone in the tank during the pandemic. Seems reasonable to think that big, big problems are coming.

Fourth, there is the question of "legally authorized." It appears that the IRS claims that he owes them $72 million for an illegal deduction/credit--which would be $100 Million plus interest. Then of course there's the question of all those "consulting deductions" including payments to family members/employees. Ivanka got $750,000 as a consultant through a shell company when she was full time employed at Trump Co? Fishy, no?

And on the legality front, how do you think that the valuations of properties that Trump has claimed in dealings with lenders or insurors compare with the valuations he has offered to fedeal, state and local taxing authorities. What do you think the odds are that they will differ in material ways? That is also fraud.

Fifth, what about the potential for conflict of interest? The 2017 returns show significant moneys coming in from foreign governments. Hard to imagine that those payments didn't go up dramatically in 2018 and 2019, no?

Sixth, what about the spectacle of a person who claims to be worth $9 billion paying almost no taxes most years, while living the lifestyle of a prince, and charging most of his personal expenses to his business? Is that a good look? $70,000 to hide his bald spot?

Come on now, Professor Althouse, stop ducking!

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Howard said...
Greg the class trader: You mean ignore Trump Tax returns like you people ignore the stolen Climategate emails? So having standards is good, then double standards must be better.

Hi Howard. Have you ever done any scientific research? Have you ever published a paper? Do you know anything at all about hte scientific method, or do you just "love 'Science'" whenever someone claims that "Science" backs up your beliefs?

Because here's teh deal: there's no "right to privacy" in science research. If you publish a paper based on an algorithm, you have no right to keep that algorithm or its implementation private.

Because an absolute requirement of the scientific method is that people who want to prove you wrong must be given the ability to recreate your experiments.

The reason why climate "science" is a pathetic joke is because they don't follow those rules. The reason why releasing the ClimateGate emails (and, funny that you bring that up. Haven't the same people who are reveling in the Trump Tax return release spent years burying the ClimateGate emails, at least partially on the excuse that they were stolen, so they shouldn't be discussed?) was the proper thing to do is

A: They exposed massive amounts of scientific fraud being conducted by people who are pursuing a political agenda with that fraud
B: They released into the public domain things like the modeling source code, that should have been released years before.

Now, tell us what proper public policy goals were advanced by releasing Trump's taxes. Did they catch him cheating on his taxes? No. Did they find Russian payoffs? No.

So, unlike the ClimateGate emails, which were released for public policy reason to benefit every honest person in the world, The Trump tax returns were illegally released simply to attempt to gain a political advantage for one Party.

If you don't see a difference in the two, you are pathetic beyond words.

If you do see a difference, and support the "partisan advantage" release, but not the "following the rules of the scientific method" release, well, then, you're exactly the scummy person we think you are

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Thank you Yancey -that is a great reminder.

Mikey NTH said...

Cyrus Vance, Jr. is the district attorney for the County of New York, a state office.
He is not the US attorney for the Southern District of New York - that's federal.

Let's try to keep the two entities straight.

Drago said...

One of r/v's most moronic comments yesterday was his/her/xer's fervent belief that the Trump tax returns that the NYT obtained via illegal felonious leaking showed zero russian money interactions....yet r/v was still gleefully rubbing his/her/xer's little hands together in glee and claiming that with just a little more investigation those tax returns would show terrible russian money connections.........

.....even AFTER the NYT debunked that claim!

LOL

Of course, that russian money connection that got r/v so hot to trot was actually proven to be on the Biden side. $3.5 million from the wife of the corrupt Putin pal Mayor of Moscow.

Literally the mayor of Moscow!!

r/v's "principled" response?

None.

At all.

r/v, still in the Most Inga-like lead over readering.

Get moving readering. At this pace r/v will have you lapped in just a week or two.

Birkel said...

Leftist Collectivists have no idea how normal Americans think.
Living in one-party conclaves has distorted your view of the world.

Like a magazine cover, your worldview is a joke.

TwoAndAHalfCents said...

I do wonder why the NYT ran with this on a Sunday before the debate. Seems like it would have been more effective releasing this tale on Wednesday to re-direct the conversation away from a potential debate debacle. Two possibilities:
1. They really still don’t see Joe’s cognitive issues and expect he will be fine in the debate. Might seem unlikely to readers here, but I have DC bubble relatives who genuinely believe he’s fine.
2. The NYT believes they have a bigger ‘bomb’ to drop post-debate.

Smart money is on #2

Achilles said...

Laslo Spatula said...

Read Alexandriathechick's tweets.

"Read that closely. Trump PAID, as in transferred to the US Treasury, $1 million in 2016 and $4.2 million in 2017. Note also that most of the overpayment was rolled forward, not refunded. The $750 figure is an ADDITIONAL $750. Thus every single story saying he paid $750 is a lie."

The Times didn't even read nor comprehend their own story.

I am Laslo


They read it and comprehended it.

They were just dishonest.

And they know that there are stupid evil people like Howard and roesch/voltaire and Readering who will take any lie fed to them and use it to justify their previously held positions.

Marc said...

Now that both the federal prosecutor's office and the NYT have the tax returns, with many potential recipients of their contents leaked, why wouldn't Mr Trump release them to the public, so that hundreds of Alexandria Browns can verify this and that? He shouldn't have to etc etc but it would be a way to avoid the Times publishing XYZ on October 21st in a last ditch effort to derail his re-election.

JaimeRoberto said...

"Is there a financial clue to his deference to Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin?"

There they go again, making this claim without evidence.

FullMoon said...

Most humorous is people imagining Trump sitting at his desk with stacks of paperwork and a calculator figuring out how to minimize his taxes.

Trump,naturally more than most here, has access to the genius tax people. He asks them how to proceed and follows their advice.

Ask the average R/V or Readering or Howard type how much they paid in taxes, and the answer is generally:
"I dint pay nuthin', I got money back!" LOL!

Milwaukie guy said...

https://twitter.com/alexthechick/status/1310558051171262464

Alexandria Brown points out that according to the Times article, Trump paid $1 million in 2016 and $4.2 million in 2017. The pair of $750s were additional payments. Must have been in graph 49.

Even more disturbing, the Times says they have record for thousands of Trump employees. This was not just a leak about the president, but thousands of relatively anonymous American taxpayers.

The leaker should be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Trump could call it the Obama Judith Miller rule.

H/T Ace.



Jim at said...

I suspect folks in his accounting firm are leaking, in disgust at his dishonesty, and more revelations will follow in the coming weeks. Grab some pop corn and enjoy.

The guy has been in the public eye for more than four decades. Are you really so stupid as to think some grand revelations are forthcoming now?

Narayanan said...

I would love to hear Ayn Rand alive and talking about this in 2020

1963 - americas-persecuted-minority-big-business
2020 - americas-persecuted-minority-Donald Trump

pacwest said...

Any business needs to pay attention to how taxes are going to affect them going forward. How you are going to be taxed often was the main component of a decision. It's a hard game to play because they kept changing the rules. It sucks. Good decisions can sour in a couple of years. I'm all for changing the tax structure, or at the very least stabilizing it. Keep the fucking rules the fucking same all the fucking time!

Lease/purchase decisions for equipment was always a bitch, and always changing:

Caution—Under the new lease accounting standard (ASC 842 for U.S. GAAP and IFRS 16 for International Financial Reporting Standards) virtually ALL leases are now capitalized on the lessee’s balance sheet for book purposes. Under U.S. GAAP, some of those leases are reported as capital leases whereby the asset is recorded on the lessee’s balance sheet with an offsetting lease liability which creates an interest expense element for financial reporting purposes only. Under IFRS 16, all leases are treated as capital leases with an imputed interest expense for financial reporting purposes.

This ASC 842 or IFRS 16 interest expense however may not be the same interest expense that is limited under the tax code. Only if the lessee is deemed to own the asset for tax purposes is this interest expense considered subject to the limitation.


Cutouts, giveaways, incentives, etc. Trump's business is a hell of a lot bigger, and a hell of a lot more complex than anything I had to deal with.

I'm sure AOC or r/v could explain it better.

wholelottasplainin' said...

I've always wondered how the NYT can hide behind the idea that they legally received Trump's tax returns, which were apparently STOLEN from federal records that legally cannot be made public w/o the permission of the taxpayer.

If I knowingly or unknowing buy stolen property, and the original owner finds out you have it, legally I have to return it to that owner, or pay damages if I have consumed or otherwise destroyed or damaged the property, or damaged the reputation of the rightful owner. The rightful owner doesn't have to pay the purchaser of the property anything; the latter loses whatever he paid for the property.

The NYT seems to say that because the First Amendment and supporting Supreme Ct. cases say that it's legal for them to publish the tax info, it also escapes liability in accepting private property they KNEW to be illegally purloined.

Anyone know if this is true?

Joe Smith said...

@SensibleCitizen

"She was by any objective measures one of the most extraordinary CEO's of the 20th century."

Her tenure as CEO was disastrous...there was a reason she was thrown out.

Did she break a glass ceiling? Yes she did. But she did a terrible job running HP...

Freder Frederson said...

We'll never see the complete records.

There is an easy way to find out if the NYT is lying or painting these returns in the worst light possible. Trump could release his taxes to prove this is all "fake news".

FullMoon said...

Drago sez
"You know, I was thinking readering is the new Inga, which is true, but r/v is giving readering a real battle as the Most Inga-ist of All."

I hate to admit it, but R/V had me fooled for a long time. I actually did believe he was legit. Stupid, but serious in his comments. R/V is a master troll, and listing his occupation as education definitely amplifies the allusion. Credit where credit is due .

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Stephen said...
A whole bunch of stupid things. But nothing that I noticed topped this:

Then of course there's the question of all those "consulting deductions" including payments to family members/employees. Ivanka got $750,000 as a consultant through a shell company when she was full time employed at Trump Co? Fishy, no?

Which means that Ivanka then reported that $750,000 as consulting income, and had to pay taxes on it.

We're supposed to care about this, why?

FullMoon said...

If, instead of automatic payroll deductions, everybody had to file quarterlies, along with a check or electronic transfer, there would be a real tax revolt.

Kevin said...

Then of course there's the question of all those "consulting deductions" including payments to family members/employees. Ivanka got $750,000 as a consultant through a shell company when she was full time employed at Trump Co? Fishy, no?

I think I've got it.

Ivanka as a consultant for the Trump Organization: Fishy.

Hunter as a consultant for Burisma: Nothing to see here.

Rusty said...

Readering said...
"I am beginning to think..."
No. No you're not. That's your problem.

Nyamujal said...

Barron Trump should check to see if his broke-ass daddy is putting his name on any bills.

Michael said...

Freder
How about the Times releases the full returns they claim to possess

Josephbleau said...

"Then of course there's the question of all those "consulting deductions" including payments to family members/employees. Ivanka got $750,000 as a consultant through a shell company when she was full time employed at Trump Co? Fishy, no?"

But Hillary getting Clinton Foundation donations from foreign countries as Sec of State? Not a smidgen of corruption.

hstad said...

NY Times article complete "fake" news. Mr. Trump paid taxes for the 2 years, 2016 and 2017, respectively. Doesn't take a genious to figure out that all you have to be is self-employed and pay your "estimated taxes" when you file. Which is what Mr. Trump did - 2016 - $1mm and 2017 $4mm. LOL - what a waste of a hit job.

Original Mike said...

"NY Times article complete "fake" news. Mr. Trump paid taxes for the 2 years, 2016 and 2017, respectively. Doesn't take a genious to figure out that all you have to be is self-employed and pay your "estimated taxes" when you file. Which is what Mr. Trump did - 2016 - $1mm and 2017 $4mm. LOL - what a waste of a hit job."

Not a waste. You really think the Freder's and r/v's of the world are going to get that?

Leora said...

Blogger TwoAndAHalfCents said...
I do wonder why the NYT ran with this on a Sunday before the debate.

My guess would be that Biden has been primed with zingers linked to the story.

Alternately, they wanted to step on the Project Veritas ballot harvesting release.

Joe Smith said...

"Second, there is the missed point that apparently his real estate ventures all lose money, all the time."

That's the old story with the entertainment business too. Movies that gross $100M end up not making a profit.

Yet somehow the producers of said movies end up living in $20M mansions in the Hollywood hills.

Funny how that works...

Stephen said...

OK, for those of you, including Professor Althouse, who claim that this is a nothingburger, I can now recommend the following article by Dan Shaviro of NYU Law, one of the really gifted and fair minded tax law scholars around.

It shows in detail from a tax lawyer's perspective why the returns are in fact a big deal for what they show about DJT's business acumen and financial condition and about the likelihood that he has engaged in unlawful conduct.

https://www.justsecurity.org/72604/ten-quick-takeaways-from-the-new-york-times-bombshell-article-on-trumps-tax-returns/

Narayanan said...

FullMoon said...
If, instead of automatic payroll deductions,
----------==============
thank blame uncle Milt Friedeman for that automatic deductions - state enabler par excellence

DEEBEE said...

‘ Is there a financial clue to his deference to Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin?... [T]he tax records revealed no previously unknown financial connection...."

Is NYT a tabloid journal... there is no evidence in this coverage that it is not.

Original Mike said...

"Mr. Trump paid taxes for the 2 years, 2016 and 2017, respectively. Doesn't take a genious to figure out that all you have to be is self-employed and pay your "estimated taxes" when you file. Which is what Mr. Trump did - 2016 - $1mm and 2017 $4mm."

Stephen, is this right or wrong? I'm not saying I know the answer; I'm trying to learn. Does the $750 figure include ALL payments made those years?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Stephen said...
It shows in detail from a tax lawyer's perspective why the returns are in fact a big deal for what they show about DJT's business acumen and financial condition and about the likelihood that he has engaged in unlawful conduct.

And I'm sure it has as much honesty and sanity as Nate Silver telling us the percentage chance that Kavanaugh lied during his hearing.

IOW, it's all delusional bullshit

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Original Mike said...
Stephen, is this right or wrong? I'm not saying I know the answer; I'm trying to learn. Does the $750 figure include ALL payments made those years?

Trump had millions of dollars in tax credits that he carried forward, and covered most of his tax bill. His accountant, for some reason, warranted not to use all of those credits, thus the $750 payment

The $5 mil that Trump paid in 2016 and 2017 became overpayments that he carried forward as tax credits to cover future years' tax liabilities

Sam L. said...

It's the NYT,which I despise, detest, and distrust.