1. Lacius

    Lacius GBAtemp Legend
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    His low taxes were largely because he reported losses greater than what he made. So, again, which is it?
     
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  2. Hanafuda

    Hanafuda GBAtemp Psycho!
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    That was in previous years. "10 of the 15 previous years" is what the NYT article said. Not 2016-2017 when he paid $5.2 million up front, then an additional $750 each year. As for why it is good practice to report some tax liability rather than zero, assuming that's why they worked in the $750 payments, ask his accountants. I understand how deductions work against gross income, how to file an itemized schedule A, how to eke out every available credit against tax owed ... but a tax expert I am not. But I'm assuming there's some reason for it because the NYT article also says the $9.1 million in credits for the historic preservation/renovation projects was more than enough to cover his full tax liability for both those years (2016-2017).

    Also you certainly understand that Donald Trump has never had to sit down at the rolltop desk burning the midnight oil doing his taxes, right?? People with that kind of money have accountants and attorneys whose job is to process and file for their client's best benefit. Pay as little as possible. That's their job. Sometimes it means making a charitable donation to avoid moving into a higher tax bracket. Sometimes it means strategizing in advance to get some very juicy federal tax credits to offset costs of doing business (like construction and operating costs of a major hotel). Sometimes it means cutting losses by taking a bankruptcy. But it's unlikely Trump himself has spent much time micromanaging his wealth and properties for many years. That's what he's paying those people for. The megarich class paint general pictures, point in general directions, and then go have fun. When someone fucks up trying to recreate the vision, someone gets fired. This is how the world has always worked.
     
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  3. Foxi4

    Foxi4 Cynical Absurdist
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    It's worth noting that the losses Trump was talking about were due to depreciation. When you own an asset, its value depreciates over time due to wear and tear, among other factors. To continue with the car analogy, if you buy a car from a dealer, it loses value the moment you drive off the lot, from retail value to wholesale value. By the end of the first year of use its value depreciates by 40% - that's nearly half of what you paid down the drain, and the thing doesn't even have a scratch on it. The utility of the asset hasn't reduced - that car will serve you with little to no maintenance required for 5 years at least, and another 20 with a little TLC, although few people hold on to a vehicle for that long. The trick here is to offset the "loss" you take by continued investment against the utility you gain from the asset, in this case a car. It may cost you a couple of bucks to wash the damn thing, keep the tank full etc., but it also takes you to and fro work where you earn X, X being higher than your utility costs. That doesn't mean you didn't take a hit on the car - you did, but that loss is spread across years upon years of use whilst providing you with what's effectively a revenue stream in this analogy. That's big brain maths though, so we won't get into why driving a car around town is superior to legging it.
     
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  4. AdamCatalyst

    AdamCatalyst Member
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    You have no idea what you're talking about.

    First, there is no whistleblower. A whistleblower is an insider who goes public with their knowledge of illegal wrongdoing. As of right now, no-one is even alleging that such a person exists.

    Secondly there is no alleged crime. So even if there was a whistleblower, what would they be blowing the whistle on… prudent corporate accounting?

    Now, it is a federal crime to disseminate someone else's tax records without consent. I do not know the letter of the law in that regard, I could be misinterpreting 26 U.S. Code § 7213. The New York Times, or their source, could be in violation of that law. I don't know.

    Separation of power is another concept altogether. That has to do with limitations on power and utility in branches of government.

    Democracy, is also yet another thing altogether, and I'm not going to explant act one to you. Maybe look it up in Wikipedia?

    Seriously, you should look up and read about every single concept you referenced. Because you literally got everything wrong. Perhaps you have something important or interesting to say, but it is hard to take you seriously when it doesn't seem like you even understand your own words.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    As someone who has run a very small corporation, and has an accountant, I can tell you that even minor corporate accounting is very complex. Virtually everyone pays at least one account to handle it, if not a team, with lawyers as well. And they all know their job… pay as little tax as possible while protecting the corporation by ensuing that they are on the right side of the law. I regularly pay little to no income tax, but that doesn't mean my corporation doesn't pay various taxes, as well as collect various taxes for the government. There are many different ways that taxes can be structured, and if you are not being paid a conventional salary, that open up even more options. There is nothing abnormal or irregular about what is being reported about Trump's taxes. There is nothing abnormal about leveraging assets, borrowing and paying interest at a lower rate than asset appreciation, and using asset depreciation to offset taxable earnings. These are just the basics. It can get crazy complex. If all you have ever done is a personal tax return for regular jobs, you have no idea what corporate tax returns can look like, and what your personal tax return can look like if you own corporate assets.
     
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  5. erikas

    erikas GBAtemp Regular
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    You do realise that Trump has a tax accountant work for him, whose sole job it is to find as many tax loopholes as possible? Thats not illegal, nor is it wrong, since literally every other buisness does it.
     
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  6. notimp

    OP notimp Well-Known Member
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    So no businesses pay taxes? Or Trump is especially good at avoiding them? Or Trump is especially poor at business? Or two of the above:
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news...rump-a-bad-businessman-or-a-tax-probably-both

    Says 'an accountant'.
     
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  7. smf

    smf GBAtemp Psycho!
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    You're forgetting all the money that he lost for everyone else that got written off. So yes, a completely massive loser but enough of a liar, thief & cheat that he managed to sort himself out at the expense of others.
     
  8. notimp

    OP notimp Well-Known Member
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    I asked myself and even in here, who the heck would finance Trump to the extent of 300+ million in private loans in an economy like this.

    I was a dummy.

    Just found out, that most of Trumps business ventures (investment wise) are located outside the USA. Big aha moment. ;)

    see f.e.: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuart...he-hypocrite-investing-overseas-fine-for-him/

    https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/06/trump-foreign-business-interests/

    Trump paid more taxes to the Philippines, than to the US:
    https://www.rappler.com/nation/trump-firms-paid-more-taxes-philippines-than-united-states
     
    Last edited by notimp, Sep 30, 2020
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  9. LumInvader

    LumInvader GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Your statement appears to be based on your personal feelings with very little basis in reality.

    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/national/

    Biden 50.4% (+7.3)
    Trump 43.1%

    Similarly, the most recent Fox News polls have Biden ahead by 5 points. If you're expecting a repeat polling error in swing states in 2020, it should be noted that during the 2018 election cycle, pollsters adjusted for the undersampled non-college educated white voter block who weren't properly accounted for in 2016. In other words, the surprise election day bump Trump received is already baked into today's polls.

    One more note of interest here: Biden's Electoral College win probability if he wins the popular vote by X points:

    0-1 points: just 6%!
    1-2 points: 22%
    2-3 points: 46%
    3-4 points: 74%
    4-5 points: 89%
    5-6 points: 98%
    6-7 points: 99%

    Source: https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/status/1301190941110341632
     
  10. Gamemaster1379

    Gamemaster1379 GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    A little disappointing it took up to the 9th post in this topic for someone to point this out.
     
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  11. Cylent1

    Cylent1 Community Smart Ass!
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    OK then....
    My 1st point: FACT
    My 2nd point: FACT
    How did the national 2016 polls turn out for you then? Not Good FACT!
    And then let me know how they turned out for you on Nov 4th!
     
    Last edited by Cylent1, Oct 1, 2020
  12. LumInvader

    LumInvader GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Reading comprehension 101. You need to pay closer attention to the context of the post you're responding to. As I already explained to you:

    If you're expecting a repeat polling error in swing states in 2020, it should be noted that during the 2018 election cycle, pollsters adjusted for the undersampled non-college educated white voter block who weren't properly accounted for in 2016. In other words, the surprise election day bump Trump received is already baked into today's polls.

    Citations:

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/feature...-enough-white-voters-without-college-degrees/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_...election#Comparison_to_pre-election_forecasts

    If you're expecting a repeat of 2016 on Nov. 3rd, it's far less likely now that the current polls are accounting for the non-college white demographic that that were undersampled in 2016. Of course you could argue that the bump will be even larger than 2016, but I don't think you're going to convince any reasonable person that Trump's support has INCREASED in size after a pandemic response that 58% of the country blames him for:

    https://thehill.com/policy/healthca...al-of-trumps-handling-of-coronavirus-pandemic

    Couldn't care less about your other exaggerated claims.
     
  13. notimp

    OP notimp Well-Known Member
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    Oh yeah, the Felix Sater story....

     
  14. Lacius

    Lacius GBAtemp Legend
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    Some highlights, since you didn't address anything I was talking about:
    1. Trump avoided hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes specifically by telling the IRS that his business dealings were consistently unprofitable.
    2. In 2016, Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes. In his first year in the White House (2017), he paid another $750.
    3. In 2018, for example, Trump disclosed he made at least $434.9 million. According to his taxes, however, it was $47.4 million in losses, which is why he paid so little in taxes that year.
    4. Trump's finances are under stress, due to business losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed.
    5. Over the past decade, Trump appears to have filled cash-flow gaps with a series of one-shot loans that may not be available again.
    6. In 2012, for example, Trump took out a $100 million mortgage on the commercial space in Trump Tower. He took nearly the entire amount as a payout. His company has paid more than $15 million in interest on the loan, but nothing on the principal. The full $100 million comes due in 2022.
    7. Trump also has loans coming due for the Doral golf resort ($125 million) and the Washington hotel ($160 million).
    8. Overall, Trump is responsible for loans and other debts totaling $421 million, with most of it coming due within four years. Trump is losing money every year, and we're unaware of any way he could pay these debts.
    9. These debts are a national security issue, particularly when it was secret, and Trump apparently has no way to repay these loans. For one, if someone merely knows about the debts while they're secret, that's political dirt one has over the President. Second, Trump apparently has no way to pay back these loans that are due relatively soon, and we don't know what he would do (or did) in an effort to dig himself out of this hole. People with this amount of debt, due soon, with no apparent way to pay it back, never get national security clearance for these reasons, for example.
    If Trump was a good businessman, then he committed tax fraud. If Trump did not commit tax fraud, then he was not a good businessman. Which is it? And, none of that touches on the national security issues involved.

    This isn't an issue of somebody legally taking advantage of the tax law to benefit oneself. This is an example of:
    • At best, being a bad businessman
    • At worst, being a national security risk
    • In between, being a tax fraudster
    See above.
     
    Last edited by Lacius, Oct 1, 2020
  15. Hanafuda

    Hanafuda GBAtemp Psycho!
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    I'm sure you must be right about all that and the IRS is wrong. You should tell them.


    .
     
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  16. Lacius

    Lacius GBAtemp Legend
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    Are you saying the IRS has contradicted the NYT reporting?
     
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  17. Prior22

    Prior22 GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Tell Trump to release his god damn tax returns, like every other President has done for years, then any misinterpretation won't be possible. If Obama in 2008 refused to release his tax returns you can bet your bottom dollar FOX News would have never let him hear the end of it.

    And don't give me the audit BS either. Four plus years for a tax audit? If you believe that you're even more gullible than your typical non college educated MAGA supporter.
     
    Last edited by Prior22, Oct 1, 2020
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  18. Lacius

    Lacius GBAtemp Legend
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    More importantly, presidential candidates have released their tax returns while being under audit. An audit is completely irrelevant to the topic of releasing tax returns.

    Trump does not have, and has never had, any intention of releasing his tax returns. He lied, like always.
     
    Last edited by Lacius, Oct 1, 2020
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  19. gregory-samba

    gregory-samba GBAtemp Fan
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    The New York Times confirmed Trump has been being audited for years and due to the amount, some $70 million it's taking a very long time. I also don't think people's personal tax information is anyone else's business. If he wants to release them fine, if not that's his prerogative.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Welp, looks like Trump and the first lady have the COVID. This will probably put a dent in the scheduled debates, but due to the survival rate I highly doubt Trump is going to get very ill let alone die.

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/president-trump-lady-test-positive-covid-19/story?id=73380448
     
  20. Prior22

    Prior22 GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Every President for years has released his tax returns voluntarily. Unless you're hiding something there's no reason to ignore that precedent.

    Also Trump is an overweight senior citizen. He's a prime target to die from Covid. Unsurprisingly Biden tested negative. Who knows maybe Trump was wrong about questioning the necessity of masks. Just like he was wrong about promising Mexico would pay for a border wall. Or that prior to the pandemic he would lower the deficit.
     
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