Trump got $413M from his father, largely from tax dodges, NYT reports

Posted October 03, 2018

The Times analysis contradicts the story Trump has sold to the USA public for years - first as a bombastic businessman, then as a reality television star and finally as a politician. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show.

President Trump's infamous $1 million loan may have sparked his real estate business, but the $413 million he reportedly received from his father's own empire probably helped too.

Trump lawyer Charles Harder told the Times its report was inaccurate.

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The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post. It criticized the newspaper and other media outlets, saying their low credibility with the USA public is "because they are consumed with attacking the president and his family 24/7 instead of reporting the news".

The Times said Trump's tax-hating father used "relentless and creative" ways to funnel his wealth to his children and shield it from the Internal Revenue Service.

"The Tax Department is reviewing the allegations in the NYT article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation", a spokesman for New York's tax department confirmed to CBS News. The department typically refers findings to the state attorney general's office.

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For almost all his life, Trump has been accruing payments from his father's business in a trust fund that's still growing to this day, the Times' analysis of tax returns and financial records indicates. The father would pad invoices with markups of 20 per cent or even 50 per cent, thereby avoiding gift taxes, the newspaper reports. Fred Trump, also a real estate developer, died in 1999. But the newspaper said its exhaustive investigation of tax returns and confidential records found this was not true. The Times claims that, had the president done nothing with the money his father gave him but invest it in an index fund tracking the S&P 500, he would be worth roughly $1.96 billion.

This could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million but the Trumps paid a total of just $52.2 million, the Times said, citing tax records. Unlike other White House candidates and presidents in recent decades, Trump has declined to release his tax returns. "Our family has no other comment on these matters that happened some 20 years ago", he said in a statement to the Times, "and would appreciate your respecting the privacy of our deceased parents, may God rest their souls".

The paper also alleges that the president "helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more". "My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars".

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