Once again, the New York Times has tried to make an issue out of President Donald Trump’s taxes after using his real estate holdings as a tax shelter to lower income taxes. It’s taxes 101. In the end, the Times article is nothing more than another October-Surprise-in-September attack where Donald Trump did absolutely nothing wrong.
The New York Times has the reputation of being the “paper of record” and sometimes I wonder what record they’re talking about. Certainly not legitimate journalism.
In the hit piece the Times completely ignores the way income taxes are strategically handled to be offset by depreciation, mortgage interest and the entire reason why real estate ownership is viewed as a business. It’s almost as if they know nothing at all about “carried loss.”
Think about if you took out an $5 million mortgage at 5%, paying $2 million cash. Now you have to pay $250,000 in mortgage payments. You want to make at least that much so you charge your tenants an aggregate of $275,000, which after repairs and upkeep comes out to $260,000 of net income. The interest payment on the loan is say $240,000, and it is deductible from your income, leaving you with $20,000 in net income. You will get to keep that and pay no taxes on it, nevertheless, because you still get to use the $255,000 depreciation cost. You tell the IRS you lost $235,000.
Under our tax code, ordinary business expenses will be deducted in the year they are acquired. However, when a business pays for a long-lasting item expected to produce income–like equipment, vehicles, or an apartment building–it’s thought to be a capital investment. As an alternative of getting to write-off the cost all at once, the business is required to write it off over the course of decades. Congress decided the amount of time for that is 27.5 years when they wrote the 1986 tax code.
If you’ve ever run a business you understand full well that offsetting income is without a doubt one of the main reasons for being self-employed. Moreover, the Times fully skips over the tens-of-millions in payroll taxes paid by the Trump organization and tens-of-millions in property and sales taxes paid by all of the varied Trump properties. Have we forgotten already when MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow revealed her illegally-obtained copies of Trump’s taxes where she had to admit he paid over $30 million in taxes?
The main thing that comes out of this, that the Times will never admit, is that Donald Trump paid all of the taxes he owed at the federal level, and the only illegal thing that happened here is when someone leaked his tax returns to the Times.
In their hit piece the Times talked about how Trump does business around with world with authoritarian leaders, trying to make it seem like that makes him an authoritarian leader himself. What about the Clintons dealing with Saudi Arabia, or even with the Russians via Uranium One and Skokovo? Or how about the NBA and it’s dealings with China? Can you imagine the New York Times ever sending a reporter down to the University of Delaware and request to see the Biden papers. They won’t do it. How about the Times just once asking real questions about Tara Reade, the woman who credibly accused Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her? They won’t do it. How about they do a single story about Hunter Biden’s business dealings with China where he allegedly did nefarious things that helped China compete against the United States economically and militarily? They won’t do it. How about they mention the subchapter S corporation Joe Biden created to save himself millions in taxes? They don’t do it. Yet, they have time to make up innuendo about what Trump pays in taxes.
In the commercial real estate market it just makes sense to offset income tax liabilities with a number of valid annual expenses, long-term capital depreciation and mortgage interest payments. Many other business owners do it. It’s smart to do it. Only the lazy or ignorant would not take advantage of our tax laws when they’re available. With over 500 individual business entities inside the Trump organization the ability to offset income in one asset with expenses in another is just great accounting work.
Moreover, President Trump donates his $400,000 government salary again to the US government. He takes a single dollar a year in salary to make it legal, and he donates his quarterly salary to whatever department he feels could use it to make American lives better at that point in time. So to accuse President Trump of only paying $750 in income taxes completely ignores all of the other donations and taxes he’s paid out.