New York Times Obtains Years Of Trump Tax Returns (Anyone Want To Guess What/If He Paid?)

Donald Trump (image: public domain)

Two days before the first Presidential TV debate, the New York Times just dropped a bomb on Donald Trump’s campaign.

The Times obtained several years of tax-return data for the Trumpster and it’s pretty much what everyone has expected:

Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.

He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed.

Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.

Head over to the New York Times for much more.

Same-Sex Married Couples Could See Big Tax Refunds As U.S. House Unanimously Approves PRIDE Act

In a rare, wholly bipartisan move, the House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation that would allow same-sex couples eligible for tax refunds if they were married before the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down in 2013.

In a rare, wholly bipartisan move, the House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation that would allow same-sex couples to apply for tax refunds going back years if they were married before the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down in 2013.

The bill, known as The PRIDE Act (Promoting Respect for Individuals’ Dignity and Equality Act), passed on a voice vote with zero opposition. The legislation was introduced by Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Andy Levin (D-MI).

Until the 2013 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court which struck down DOMA, which prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, married same-sex couples were not allowed to file federal tax returns jointly. As a result, those couples potentially lost out on considerable tax benefits.

After the SCOTUS ruling, the IRS allowed those couples to file amended tax returns for the three years before the decision – 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The PRIDE Act, if enacted, would allow same-sex married couples to refile tax returns for the entire period they were legally married if they lived in a state that recognized their marriage.

Before the DOMA ruling, those jurisdictions would include Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Additionally, the legislation would remove gendered language (“husband,” “wife”) from the federal tax code.

The Washington Blade reports the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates those couples could stand to recoup up to $67 million in tax refunds.

Despite the unanimous approval in the House, the issue now moves to the Senate where its fate is uncertain.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has introduced similar legislation known as the Refund Equality Act.

However, there’s no guarantee that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will allow his chamber to even vote on the bill.

Stay tuned.

(source: Washington Blade)

Trump Sues To Block Congress From Accessing His Financial Records

Donald Trump, Rep. Elijah J. Cummings

The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump is suing to block Congress – specifically House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings –  from accessing his financial records.

The lawsuit seeks a court order to prevent Trump’s accounting firm from complying with what his lawyers say is an improper use of subpoena power by congressional Democrats.

“Democrats are using their new control of congressional committees to investigate every aspect of President Trump’s personal finances, businesses, and even his family,” the filing by Trump claims. “Instead of working with the President to pass bipartisan legislation that would actually benefit Americans, House Democrats are singularly obsessed with finding something they can use to damage the President politically.”

The filing, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, further escalates a clash between the White House and the Democratic-controlled House over congressional oversight.

Last week, Cummings subpoenaed Mazars USA, an accounting firm long used by Trump.

It’s important to note that the House Oversight Committee is specifically charged with oversight of the Executive Branch of government.

Cummings’ committee is seeking 10 years of financial records from Trump.

IRS Reports 2019 Tax Refund Average Has Dropped By Double-Digits

Donald Trump promised a lot with his Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but folks are finding their tax refunds are getting smaller.
Donald Trump

Donald Trump promised a lot with his Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but folks are finding their tax refund checks are getting smaller.

The IRS originally reported that tax refunds were averaging about 8% less than last year, but that figure has been revised to more than 16% less.

From Yahoo News:

The size of the average tax refund continues to drop, according to the latest IRS statistics. The IRS has found that Americans filing returns are now likely to see 16.7% less money than they received last year.

According to the data, the average refund size received in 2018 was $3,169 — while this year’s refunds have shrunk to $2,640.

Previous data released by the IRS showed that refunds had dipped by 8% on average. The refund size casts unfavorable light on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the Republican tax reform law championed by President Trump. The bill was criticized as an unnecessary win for large corporations and the rich, who saw their tax rates slashed and refunds increase.

Additionally, CBS News reports the number of tax refunds is down 26 percent.

Tax refund checks represent one of the biggest lump sum payments taxpayers get in a year. And as such, the funds usually add a boost to the economy.

With less or no refunds, economists are concerned about how this will play out in the U.S. economy.

Just remember, the Trumpster and multinational corporations will enjoy their own sweet tax cuts.

Trump Supporters Do Their 2018 Taxes, And They Are NOT Happy

With tax season now upon us, it's interesting to note that more than a few Trump supporters have taken to Twitter in the past few days angry about their 2018 tax bill.  It seems the promises of a 'middle class' tax cut weren't so accurate.
Donald Trump

With tax season now upon us, it’s interesting to note that more than a few Trump supporters have taken to Twitter in the past few days angry about their 2018 tax bill.

It seems the promises of a ‘middle class’ tax cut weren’t so accurate.

Thanks to the loss of multiple tax deductions in Donald Trump’s tax bill, there are folks paying MORE than they are used to.

Raw Story notes the main culprits seem to be newly-capped deductions for taxes paid to state and local governments, as well as the increased amount of charitable donations you have to make to qualify for the deduction.

Here’s just a few of the self-proclaimed Trump supporters had to say:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Proposes Allowing Same-Sex Marriage Couples To Re-File Taxes For DOMA-Related Tax Refunds

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has filed a bill that would allow same-sex married couples to go back and amend their federal income taxes jointly for the three years before the 2013 SCOTUS ruling which brought federal recognition of legal of marriage equality – if it would result in a tax refund.

From Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

Same-sex couples could file an amended return if they feel they would’ve receive a refund in one or more prior tax years for up to three years in the past: 2010, 2011, and 2012. Under some circumstances, such as signing an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service to keep the statute of limitations open, these couple might have been able to seek a refund from an earlier time.

The Refund Equality Act would extend the window period for a refund further back in time. Same-sex couples could file a joint return to seek a refund dating to the time of their marriage, which in Massachusetts could be as early as 2004.

Same-sex couples who wed in jurisdictions with marriage equality more than three years before the DOMA decision — Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and D.C. — could be eligible for a refund under the Refund Equality Act.

I can share that hubby Michael and I filed jointly for the first time in 2013. In that we make different incomes (he’s a big deal entertainment publicist, I’m a journalist), we saved a LOT.

At the time, our accountant showed us four different scenarios of what our taxes would have been ranging from “single” to “married – filing jointly.” The difference was huge.

I think if a couple’s incomes are similar the impact isn’t as great.

Michael and I married in California in 2008, so I would definitely take advantage of this law if it comes to pass.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo To Trump Spokesman: “Do You Have Any Proof Of An Audit?”

In a tense interview segment with CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Trump spokesman Jason Miller, Cuomo asked Miller if he could prove Donald Trump is actually being audited by the IRS.

As we’ve all seen for the past year, Trump says he can’t release his tax returns, as every other presidential candidate has done for 40 years, because he’s being audited by the IRS. The IRS has said there’s no problem with sharing those files.

Most believe that Trump is merely attempting to hide something – his true wealth, his true charitable giving, or his true tax rate.

Here’s part of the exchange via RawStory:

Jason Miller, the Trump advisor, said he did not accept the FBI’s explanation that newly discovered emails were actually duplicates of Clinton messages already examined by investigators.

“No, don’t accept it — they should release all the emails, let us have a look before Election Day,” Miller said. “We think that would be the smart thing to do.”

Cuomo, the host of “New Day,” accused the Trump campaign of hypocrisy.

“You love transparency when it’s not you guys,” Cuomo said. “You don’t see any irony in that?”

Cuomo called on Trump to release his emails — which have not been hacked and then dumped online by WikiLeaks — or his tax records, and Miller said he would do that as soon as an IRS audit was completed.

“You think anybody believes the audit thing going to the polls tomorrow?” Cuomo said. “You have any proof of an audit?”

Miller stammered, and said of course Trump could prove his taxes were under audit.

“Yeah, you do?” Cuomo said. “Have you seen an audit letter?”

Miller tried to change the subject, but Cuomo pressed on.

“That is the fact, right?” Cuomo said. “Transparency only works one way in this election where Trump’s involved.”

Miller tried changing the subject to the Clinton Foundation, and Cuomo offered to demonstrate how easy an audit can be proved.

“I’ll show you an audit letter I got,” he said.

Hillary Clinton Asks: “What Kind Of ‘Genius’ Loses $1 Billion In A Single Year?”

On the campaign trail in Ohio today, Democratic presidential candidate brought up the Sunday talk show defense by Donald Trump’s surrogates regarding the weekend revelations of Trump’s 1995 tax return.

“What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in a single year?” Clinton asked.

Watch below.

Did Marla Maples Leak Donald Trump’s 1995 Tax Return?

Marla Maples

As political junkies and pundits wonder who might have leaked Donald Trump’s 1995 tax return to the New York Times, some folks have started looking in the direction of Trump wife number two, Marla Maples.

Since she was married to the Donald at that time, her name is on the joint return, and state laws in New York and Connecticut allow taxpayers to release returns to outside parties with only one of the filers signatures.

Medium has more details:

It’s also unlikely that she would be violating her confidentiality agreement with Mr. Trump by leaking these returns. I spoke to two lawyers that specialize in family law and both told me that they have never seen a restriction around tax returns in a prenup or settlement agreement. They have seen such restrictions when it comes to financial statements, investment records but it would be hard for Mr. Trump to demand that Ms. Maples own tax information be kept private. If Ms. Maples did indeed leak these returns, it would also absolve the Times of any criminal or civil penalties.

Despite the fact that the Trump campaign said that the Times is “an extension of the Clinton campaign”, they’re not (after all they broke the email server story in March of 2015). The Times had these returns for ten days and took their reporting on these returns seriously — even going so far as hiring tax experts to analyze the returns. They sought a comment from the Trump campaign, they spoke to the accountant who prepared and signed the returns.

So it would be highly unusual for them to not contact Ms. Maples about the tax returns given that her name is on all of the returns and her signature is on the New Jersey return. Yet the Times, in their story, does not indicate that they contacted Ms. Maples. Even if she didn’t return their calls or emails, they would still indicate that they reached out to her and had not heard back.

(h/t JoeMyGod)