New York Times investigation alleges Donald Trump helped his parents evade taxes, which contributed to his wealth
U.S. President Donald Trump helped his parents dodge taxes, which included “instances of outright fraud”, according to a report published Tuesday by The New York Times.
An investigation by The Times based on confidential tax returns and financial records found that Trump was part of “dubious tax schemes” during the 1990s that “greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents”.
During his presidential campaign, Trump claimed he established his own company and received very little money from his family, proclaiming himself a “self-made billionaire”.
But according to The Times’ investigation, he had received today's equivalent of $413 million from the real estate holdings of his father, Fred Trump, since he was a toddler.
“Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes,” the Times said.
“He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more,” it said.
According to The Times, the findings are based on interviews with Fred Trump's former employees and advisers, while it studied more than 100,000 pages of documents of the Trump family, including probate records, financial disclosure reports, civil court files, bank statements, financial audits, invoices and regulatory records.
The report added that the president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, “transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million”, out of which the Trumps only paid $52.2 million, according to The Times.
While the president did not respond to questions from The Times, his lawyer, Charles J. Harder, rejected the allegations.
“The New York Times’ allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false and highly defamatory,” he said in a written statement.
“There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone. The facts upon which The Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate,” he added.
Donald Trump's brother, Robert Trump, also issued a statement on the allegations, stating that all taxes were paid after their parents passed away.
“All appropriate gift and estate tax returns were filed, and the required taxes were paid,” he said.
During his presidential election campaign, Trump refused to publish his tax returns, breaking with decades of practice by past presidents.