Oct 142018

New York examining Trump’s taxes was the headline in the New York Times. It seems that the story that was carried by the Times, which cited thousands of pages of documents used to support the assertions, was enough to pique the interest of the Tax Authorities of the State of New York. New York City officials said that they had joined state regulators in examining whether President Trump and his family underpaid taxes on his father’s real estate empire over several decades. The announcement came in response to an investigation published this week in The New York Times. New York examining Trump’s taxes was the headline in that article.

“We are now just starting to pore through the information,” said Dean Fuleihan, the city’s first deputy mayor. One type of tax that the city will examine is the real estate transfer tax. Officials said the extremely low valuations the Trump family places on buildings that passed from Fred C. Trump to his children through trusts could have resulted in underpaid transfer taxes. The Times reported that through several aggressive and potentially illegal maneuvers, the Trumps claimed that 25 apartment buildings within a decade for more than 16 times that amount. Mr. Fuleihan said the city would also explore whether another tax avoidance maneuver by Mr. Trump and his siblings resulted in Fred Trump’s empire underpaying property taxes.

That maneuver involved a company, created by the Trump family in 1992, called All County Building and Supply. All County existed largely on paper, the Times found. Its work, such as it was, consisted of adding 20 percent or more to the cost of goods and services bought by Fred Trump. The padded amount was split between Donald Trump and his siblings, essentially a gift from their father that avoided the 55 percent gift tax at the time.  Mr. Fuleihan said city and state agencies are cooperating on the effort. The State Department of Taxation and Finance announced on Wednesday that it was “Pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation”.

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